Utica school going remote after more COVID-19 cases linked to dance competition

Earl Davis // WKTV

Hugh R. Jones Elementary School in Utica will switch to remote learning for the rest of the month, after three people tested positive for COVID-19 and 39 were placed in quarantine stemming from a dance competition in Syracuse this past weekend.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 5:31 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2021 6:15 PM

UTICA, N.Y. – Hugh R. Jones Elementary School in Utica will switch to remote learning for the rest of the month, after three people tested positive for COVID-19 and 39 were placed in quarantine stemming from a dance competition in Syracuse this past weekend.

On Wednesday, Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente reported a cluster of 21 cases related to the same dance competition. Picente said 18 of those cases were kids ages 6 to 17 from various districts.

Whitesboro Central School District went remote for one day earlier this week so the county health department could conduct contact tracing.

Jones Principal Alaine K. Canestrari says the county health department notified the school of the positive cases on Thursday.

In a letter to parents, Canestrari says, “As such, it is out of an abundance of caution that we have decided to switch to full remote learning for all students and staff at Hugh R. Jones Elementary effective Friday, April 23, 2021 up to and including Friday, April 30, 2021 in order to keep our students, their families, and our staff safe, and to limit any exposure of the COVID-19 virus. Students will return to full time in-person instruction on Monday, May 3, 2021 unless otherwise notified by me.”

The school is working with the county on contact tracing.

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