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.
The student was at the school for parts of two days last week, Sacred Hearts President Scott Schroeder told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser Tuesday. 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 notified the Department of Health and those who had been near the student so they could self-quarantine, monitor symptoms and pursue testing, he said. It also posted a letter on the Sacred Hearts Facebook page.
The academy plans to begin online classes 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 Tuesday. “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.”
On Monday, Punahou President Michael Latham mentioned in a letter to the school community that a Punahou student also has tested positive for COVID-19, although Punahou’s school year is not scheduled to start until Aug. 19. The letter informed families 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.
Meanwhile, a staff member at Iliahi Elementary School in Wahiawa reported a positive COVID-19 test result Thursday and the school was closed for cleaning, the Department of Education confirmed Tuesday. The Department of Health, which handles contact tracing and quarantining, was alerted and staff members also were notified. The school was sanitized Friday and reopened on Monday.
The case came a week after a staff member at Kaala Elementary School, also in Wahiawa, reported a positive test. That case occurred before public school teachers returned to school on July 29 after their summer break.