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Sacred Hearts, Punahou students test positive for coronavirus

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                                The front of the main building of Sacred Hearts Academy. A Sacred Hearts Academy student who attended an event on campus last week has tested positive for COVID-19 and the school will start with distance learning next week, according to its president.

    STAR-ADVERTISER

    The front of the main building of Sacred Hearts Academy. A Sacred Hearts Academy student who attended an event on campus last week has tested positive for COVID-19 and the school will start with distance learning next week, according to its president.

A Sacred Hearts Academy student who attended an event on campus last week has tested positive for COVID-19 and the school will start with distance learning next week, according to the school’s president.

“Today we have notified the Department of Health and all parties known to have been in proximity of the student so that they may self-quarantine and isolate, monitor symptoms and pursue testing,” President Scott Schroeder wrote in a letter Monday to the school community.

The student was on campus for a limited period of time two days last week, Schroeder told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser today. Everyone was wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, and windows and doorways were kept open for air circulation, which should reduce the risk of transmission, he said.

The school made the situation public with the letter that was posted on the school’s Facebook page and also signed by principals Carol Chong and Remee Tam.

Meanwhile, Punahou President Michael Latham mentioned Monday in a letter to families that a Punahou student has also tested positive for COVID-19 although its school year is not scheduled to start until Aug. 19.

Sacred Hearts Academy plans to begin online classes next Monday for all students in kindergarten through 12th grade and will shift to on-campus instruction on Aug. 17 for those who choose it.

“This date allows all who have been in contact with the student who tested positive, and the student herself, to have self-quarantined for 14 days prior to a return to campus,” Schroeder wrote.

“The parents who have chosen online will just continue to be online and those who have chosen to be on campus will be able to come on Aug. 17,” Schroeder said today. “We’ve been working all summer to make our facilities safe and to have protocols in place for faculty, staff and students to behave appropriately so we can maintain health and safety. We are hoping that because of those practices, that COVID-19 will be confined to that one student.”

Protocols in place at the school include temperature and symptom checks, social distancing, mandatory mask wearing and frequent sanitizing.

Latham mentioned the positive case in a letter to the Punahou community on Monday informing them that the school may start the academic year with students rotating between on-campus and at-home teaching because of the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Hawaii. That approach reduces the number of students on campus at any given time.

“Although Punahou is not in session, we have also recently learned of an infection among our student body,” Latham wrote in that letter, without offering further details.

Correction: Punahou School is scheduled to begin classes on Aug. 19, not Aug. 17 as reported in an earlier version of this story.

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