TRUMANSBURG, N.Y.—The Trumansburg Central School District announced Tuesday that it will be converting its classes to online-only through the end of the month after learning five people in the district tested positive for COVID-19.

Among the positive tests are one high school student, one elementary school student, one middle school student and two elementary school teachers. As a result of the positive tests, 84 people have been directed to quarantine by the Department of Health, including students, teachers, staff and department of transportation workers.

“I anticipate we will learn of additional cases as the week progresses,” wrote Kimberly Bell, the district superintendent on Friday, Nov. 7, in a message to the community. Those identified as close contacts will be quarantined until Nov. 18. “It is important to reiterate in these most difficult of circumstances; we will still win the battle to educate our scholars. We will need to work differently and harder; however, I am confident we can achieve our work toward this common goal despite these temporary obstacles.”

Bell noted on Tuesday that the district is still working with the health department to make a final determination on the local impact of the positive cases.

TCSD is instituting fully remote instruction until Nov. 20, but because of previously scheduled remote learning days on Nov. 23 and 24 plus the Thanksgiving holiday break, they will not be re-opening classrooms until Nov. 30.

Other districts have had to make similar decisions over the past few months as administrators grapple with educating during the coronavirus pandemic. Schools in Groton, Dryden, Lansing and Ithaca have all had to convert to online for some period of time since the school year began. Most recently, Tompkins Cortland Community College had to move classes online for a week after a cluster was identified among its students.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Education & Public Health Reporter at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com