A second COVID-19 case announced at Lynnwood Elementary

GUILDERLAND — A second COVID-19 case at Lynnwood Elementary School was announced this evening, Nov. 27, in an email Superintendent Marie Wiles sent to Guilderland Central School District families.

This makes a total of 16 confirmed cases for the district so far this school year.

“I am writing to inform you that today, November 27, we learned that an individual of the LES community has tested positive for COVID-19. LES principals, Alicia Rizzo and Barbara Goldstein are working with the Albany County Department of Health to determine who needs to quarantine as a result,” Wiles wrote. “In the interest of time, they are reaching out to those individuals identified as contacts, and the Department of Health should be following up with them.”

In a press conference on Friday morning, Albany County’s health commissioner, Elizabeth Whalen, urged parents, “Work with your kids.” Parents need to reinforce for their children the importance of keeping a distance, not gathering in groups, hand-washing, and mask-wearing.

“It’s not an easy time for kids,” said Whalen.

Wiles’s email had a similar message: “Our school community’s health and safety are of the utmost importance to us so that we can continue to support and educate your children during this uncertain time,” she wrote. “I ask you to please continue to follow safety protocols outside of school, especially during this Thanksgiving recess.”

As Albany County, like the rest of the nation, is experiencing a surge in COVID-19 cases, Whalen said earlier that about 15 percent of the county’s COVID-19 cases in the last two months had come from students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Whalen urged parents to keep their children home when they are sick and to get them tested. 

This month, Albany County launched two testing sites — one of them in Voorheesville — where students with symptoms like coughing and running a fever, who are therefore excluded from classes, can get tested for COVID-19. Appointments are coordinated through school nurses.

The state’s COVID-19 Report Card, as of Friday evening, had not yet listed the new case at Lynnwood. The state identifies those with positive tests as students, staff, or teachers while the Guilderland school district does not.

The district’s earlier 15 cases included two students at Altamont Elementary School — those cases were in September — as well as one student at Lynnwood, three cases at Farnsworth Middle School of one student and two teachers, and nine cases at the high school of six students and three staff members.

In addition to its middle school and high school, Guilderland has five elementary schools. No cases have yet been reported at Westmere, Pine Bush, or Guilderland elementary schools.

The district is currently in the midst of Thanksgiving recess. The high school had moved to all-remote learning on Thursday, Nov. 19, due to a large number of quarantined staff members, which was to last until the recess.


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