First time this school year: Teachers among 14 new cases of COVID reported in Greenwich schools

Students are dismissed after the first day of the 2021-2022 school year at Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn. Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.

Students are dismissed after the first day of the 2021-2022 school year at Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Conn. Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021.

Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media file photo

GREENWICH — For the first time this school year, teachers numbered among the COVID-19 cases reported this week at the Greenwich Public Schools, according to the Friday update on the district’s online tracker.

A total of 14 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the latest update from the school district, impacting 12 students and two teachers.

Since classes began on Sept. 1, a total of 32 cases have been reported, according to the district, with 10 cases classified as resolved.

Of the 22 active cases, eight schools are currently affected, with one case each at Central Middle, Greenwich High, International School at Dundee and Old Greenwich; two cases at Riverside; five cases each at Glenville and North Mianus; and six cases at Hamilton Avenue.

Children age 11 and younger are not eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The Pfizer vaccine is available to children ages 12 to 17. Of the 22 active cases in Greenwcih schools, there is one case each at the middle school and high school level. The remaining 20 cases are in elementary schools.

The 10 resolved cases were attributed to family or outside activity transmission, the tracker said. Of the 22 active cases, 18 were attributed to family or outside activity exposure; 12 cases to unknown exposure; and two cases to in-school transmission.

Three families have multiple COVID-19 cases, with six people impacted, according to the tracker

Under an executive order from Gov. Ned Lamont, masks are required for everyone, regardless of immunization status, in schools statewide until at least Sept. 30. The Greenwich Board of Education also voted to approve a mask mandate through at least Sept. 30 and require social distancing in school buildings.

Lamont’s administration said it was considering an extension of the mask mandate, which is set to expire on Sept. 30 for students and staff in schools.

“I just think it should continue a little bit longer. We’ve got not just delta, but mu (variants). We’ve got flu season. ... I think we’ll know a lot more in six weeks,” Lamont said this week.

As officials weigh the future of the mask mandate in schools, Connecticut reported Thursday that there have been 877 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff statewide during the first weeks of school.

While 751 students in grades K-12 have tested positive for COVID since the start of the school year, 87 percent of the cases have been found in students who are not vaccinated — many of whom are still ineligible. The state has also reported 126 cases among teachers and staff, about 22 percent of whom were not vaccinated.

In Greenwich, efforts to encourage vaccinations and require masks in indoor settings are helping to mitigate the spread of COVID, First Selectman Fred Camillo said Thursday.

“Here in town we seem to be flattening out (over) the past three or four weeks,” Camillo said of infection rates. “We’re definitely encouraged by that.”

The Greenwich Public Schools will continue to update the online COVID-19 on Tuesday and Fridays, according to Jonathan Supranowitz, director of communications for the school district.

The school district will also send letters to staff and families if they are impacted directly, he said.

A year ago, the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Greenwich Public Schools came in mid-September and, until late October, cases remained in the single digits district-wide. A total of 697 cases of COVID-19 were reported for the entirety of the 2020-21 school year.

Staff Writers Nicholas Rondinone and Ken Borsuk contributed to this story.