COVID cluster forces NH high school to go entirely remote on eve of the 1st day of class

WINDHAM, N.H. (WHDH) - A cluster of coronavirus cases has forced school officials in Windham, New Hampshire to move high school students to an entirely remote learning model the night before the first day of class.

In a release issued shortly before 10 p.m., Superintendent Richard Langlois said that several additional COVID-19 cases were reported by the Department of Health and Human Services Tuesday and that has been advised to move all high school students online for the remainder of the week.

All students who have tested positive for COVID, their siblings, those who were in close contact with an individual who has tested positive, and their siblings, have been contacted and will adhere to their recommended quarantine time.

Rising senior Sam Hoyt went to the school a day before classes began to vote for the first time in the Granite State’s primary Tuesday night and said the situation is, “incredibly frustrating.”

“I don’t play a sport but it is frustrating, I have friends who play sports, I have friends who have followed every rule, they’ve worn their masks, they’ve stayed six feet apart. They’ve put the hand sanitizer and they are getting that opportunity taken away from them even though it doesn’t feel fair,” he said.

School officials have not said how many students have tested positive.

In a statement issued earlier in the evening,  Langlois wrote:

“The students who have tested positive and their sibling will quarantine and will learn remotely for the recommended quarantine time. As many of the students are athletes, we will be suspending all high school athletic practices/try-outs until further notice.”

Nadeen Hernandez’s daughter is an incoming freshman who had hopes of trying out for the volleyball team. Though she said she is not surprised this has happened she is disappointed for her daughter.

I still went out and bought pads, we’re still preparing. We practiced last night,” she said. “So we’re just going to go on as if we’re eventually going to have a practice and a tryout.”

Like many others, Hoyt said he hoped to have something to look forward to this year

“It’s rough. When this whole pandemic started it was the seniors last year that we were really feeling bad, they lost quite a bit. But we never really thought, our class, the class of 2021 would be in that position,” he said. “But we’ve got to work with what we’ve been given and we’re going to try our best to do that.”

All other students from preschool through the eighth grade will continue with their predetermined schedule for the remainder of the week.

DHHS officials will continue contact-tracing protocols and the school will continue to have daily meetings with them to keep informed of this fluid situation.


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