TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — St. Andrews Parish and St. Andrew's Country Day School have temporarily closed after one staff member reported they tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member, who works both in the church and school, informed others of the possibility of a COVID case on Monday, August 31.
"When the staff member was suggested to have a test, the maintenance staff went over immediately to disinfect the building," said St. Andrew's Country Day School Principal Pamela Giannantonio.
After the positive result came back, the school informed the Department of Health. The Erie County Health Department conducted contract tracing and quarantined anyone who came into contact with this staff member in close proximity for 10 minutes or longer for 14 days.
"We took it in our hands to be as precautious as possible and we have closed the buildings to ensure everyone's safety," Giantonio said.
Principal Giannantonio said she is taking the positive out of this closure.
"It gave us the ability to actually go through a run of how this would play out. The best laid plan is that no child was affected, the staff is safe, everyone is healthy and even the person affected has minimal symptoms," said Giannantonio.
She said they were able to go over their plan with a fine tooth comb before students entered the school.
"All the best laid plans look great on paper until you put them in place and put people and human nature into the mix. Those things sometimes aren't as beautiful on the paper as they are to play out in person."
Now, Giannantonio said she hopes she can be a resource for other schools.
"We got to go through it with the least amount of people affected. I feel like I am a resource now to other schools and those who might go through this experience once school starts," Giannantonio said.
St. Andrews Parish will resume Mass on Saturday, September 12. The school will open for 5 days a week, in-person instruction September 14. Students will have remote instruction September 9-11. School was originally set to begin in person on September 9.