Long Island schools prepare for spread of coronavirus

The Shoreham-Wading River School District in Suffolk County canceled classes on Monday to avoid potentially spreading novel coronavirus. A message posted to the district's website notified the community that a member of the high school security team informed the district that their spouse may potentially have the virus. 

With the number of confirmed cases continuing to rise, schools across Long Island are taking all necessary measures to make sure students and staff are safe. 

Jericho superintendent Hank Grishman said there are no cases in the district however a plan is in place for students to continue learning online if anything changes. Buildings are also being disinfected daily. 

"In the 40 years I've been a superintendent, this is the first time I've dealt with an issue similar to this," Grishman said. "We're completely wiping down our buildings twice a day—once during the day and once at the end of the day. Every bathroom, every doorknob, every exterior door is being completely wiped down with an antiviral agent." 

On Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced if any student or teacher in New York tests positive, the school will close for at least 24 hours. 

On Sunday night, Hofstra University announced the cancelation of campus classes after a student reported developing flu-like symptoms after attending an event with someone infected with the virus. 

Dave Bennardo, the superintendent of the South Huntington School District, said in the event of an actual closure the goal would be to err on the side of caution and maintain learning to the best degree possible.  

"We're taking this seriously but by the same token these are just cautious, preventative moves and not emergency moves due to outbreaks," he said. "The Jetsons-like concept of video instruction on a daily basis isn't accurate because there's a great deal of bandwidth and training required for something like that."

Both the Nassau County Council of School Superintendents and the Suffolk County School Superintendents Association told FOX 5 NY they're in constant communication with relevant agencies and will continue to communicate with their communities.


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