NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (WKBW) — Maple Avenue Elementary School in Niagara Falls is closed until October 8 after a staff member in the school tested positive for COVID-19, according to School Superintendent Mark Laurrie.
"I never want to see anyone get sick. That's number one. I'm always going to act on the side of caution, even over academics," Laurrie said.
Laurrie tells 7 Eyewitness News the person was a staff member - not a teacher - and was in multiple classrooms for longer than an hour. The State Health Department now requires anyone who was in the room with a COVID positive individual for longer than 60 minutes to quarantine.
"The number of 61 contact traced individuals made it in the best interest of all to close the school down for a quarantine period," Laurrie said.
Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center will offer free COVID testing at the school Tuesday from 1 to 4 p.m.
The testing will be for students, staff and families of Maple Avenue but no one will be turned away, Laurrie said.
The Niagara County Department of Health will be offering rapid COVID tests to faculty and staff Wednesday and Thursday.
"I promised this community I would be upfront," Laurrie said in a video message posted to YouTube on Sunday night. "We're ready. We're safe. We're prepared," he added.