ITHACA, N.Y.—A small spate of positive COVID-19 tests has arisen at the South Hill Elementary School, with Ithaca City School District Superintendent Dr. Luvelle Brown addressing the issue in a letter to parents this week.

There have been seven reported positive tests in South Hill Elementary School among students over the last seven days, giving it the most positive tests among any school in the district so far, other than the much larger Ithaca High School, which has eight since school began.

Brown’s letter states that the district has been in consistent contact with the Tompkins County Health Department regarding the cases. He said that the health department has acknowledged that some of the cases could be connected to each other from in-building spread, though to what extent is unknown, especially since only seven have been detected in the school.

However, whatever spread has occurred hasn’t forced a remote learning date, at least as of Oct. 20.

“Some of these cases are likely connected,” Brown wrote. “The TCHD has assured us that these recent cases amongst the South Hill community are due to household exposures, extracurricular exposures, and attending school while symptomatic. The potentially affected students have been notified, or are already home in quarantine. Staff members who may be affected have been notified and are following health and safety protocols.”

It is unclear how many students or faculty have been placed into quarantine or are undergoing the aforementioned health and safety protocols. Calls to the South Hill Elementary School administrative office have not yet been answered.

“I am acutely aware of how unnerving and challenging it is for you to receive a series of notifications about positive cases of COVID-19,” Brown said. “While the South Hill community has been doing a stellar job adhering to protocols, it is important for us to remain vigilant with regards to protecting one another.”

Matt Butler

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