Staples confirms first COVID-19 cases


Infographic by Claire Redmer '21

Westport families were informed of a positive COVID-19 case at Staples High School on Nov. 6. The infected person was in quarantine and did not have any close contacts at school.

Staples High School confirmed three positive COVID-19 cases between Nov. 6 and Nov. 9. These are the first cases at Staples during the 2020-21 school year. 

“This afternoon I was made aware of an individual at Staples High School who tested positive for COVID-19,” Scarice wrote in a Nov. 6 email. “The affected person was previously in quarantine due to an exposure outside of the school setting.”

On Nov. 8, families were informed of a second case by Scarice. Through contact tracing, Staples determined that there were no exposures inside of school from either case. District protocols state that close contacts are individuals who were within six feet of an infected person for 15 minutes or more. 

A third case occurred on Nov. 9, this time involving a student who attends Staples’ preschool. The entire Little Wreckers program will learn remotely for two weeks following the positive test. Many Staples teachers have students in the program, raising questions over childcare and potential teacher absences. 

The cases occurred as Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont implemented new coronavirus restrictions, rolling back reopening to Phase 2.1. These restrictions included capping restaurants at 50% capacity and limiting events to 25 people indoors or 50 outdoors. Additionally, Westport was given an orange COVID-19 classification on Nov. 5, meaning the daily rate of new coronavirus cases is between 10 and 14 per 100,000 people.

Some Staples students expressed concern about a potential correlation between Halloween partying and the presence of cases at school. 

“I’ve been really worried about Staples having positive cases, especially since my parents are high-risk and because of Halloween,” Merin McCallum ’21 said. “I love hanging out with friends, but I think we need to remember how serious the virus is and continue to be careful.”