Greenwich schools see 113 new cases as COVID; total cases for this school year is quadruple the year before

North Street School in Greenwich, Conn., photographed on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

North Street School in Greenwich, Conn., photographed on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020.

File photo / Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

GREENWICH — In the first triple-digit report of COVID-19 since January, the Greenwich Public Schools is reporting 113 new cases among teachers and staff on Tuesday, according to the latest update on the district’s online tracker.

That brings the total number of new COVID-19 cases in May to 249 in the school district, according to the tracker.

With 2,848 cases of COVID-19 reported since classes began Sept. 1, 2021, the school district has seen more than four times the 700 cases reported in the entire 2020-21 school year, according to the tracker.

“As expected, we are seeing a steadily increasing positivity rate in the school community following our Spring Recess,” said Jonathan Supranowitz, director of communications and board of education liaison at Greenwich Public Schools.

“We continue to ask families to keep their children at home if they (are) experiencing symptoms, test and follow all of the recommendations of our local health officials and school nurses,” he said.

Last Friday, 81 new cases were reported in the district, following a report of 55 new cases on May 3, according to the district.

The increase in COVID-19 matches the rising metric seen in Connecticut in recent weeks, with the state reporting a seven-day positivity rate of more than 11 percent on Monday.

The 113 new cases in the Greenwich school district is the largest one-day COVID-19 report since Jan. 21, when 115 cases were seen, according to the tracker.

The number of COVID-19 cases has been increasing throughout the spring in the Greenwich schools, even with six days off for spring break. And the one-day report of 113 new cases on Tuesday represents one-third of the total 339 total cases reported in April in the schools, according to tracker statistics.

In early May, the number of COVID-19 cases in schools has increased sharply across Connecticut, according to state data. Statewide, 3,018 students had positive COVID-19 tests as of last Wednesday, up from 2,261 a week earlier, a 33 percent increase, according to figures released Thursday by the state. Staff in schools also saw more COVID-19 cases, with 1,013 cases last Wednesday, up from 803 a week earlier, an increase of 210 cases, or 26 percent week-over-week, figures show.

Active cases

As of Tuesday, the school district was reporting 104 active cases of COVID-19, an increase from the 86 active cases reported last Friday. That number has been surging in May, with only 49 active cases reported just a week ago on May 3 and 45 active cases reported on April 29, according to the district.

Those 104 active cases impacted 92 students, nine teachers and one case each among service providers, administrators and nonteaching staff, according to the district.

There were active cases reported in every school in the district, with 24 active cases at Greenwich High, 22 active cases at Eastern Middle and 14 active cases at North Street, according to the tracker.

The other actives cases reported included nine at Western Middle; seven at the International School at Dundee; five each at Hamilton Avenue and Parkway; four at Cos Cob; three each at Central Middle, Glenville and New Lebanon; and one each at Julian Curtiss, North Mianus, Old Greenwich, Riverside and Windrose.

A number of families in the Greenwich Public Schools have been hit hard by COVID-19 this school year, with 458 families reporting 988 cases.

Increasing reports

Since the Spring Recess, with no classes from April 15 to 24, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported totals 356, according to the tracker.

In Greenwich schools, April ranks as third for the most cases of COVID-19 reported with 339. And it also saw some of the largest daily reports since January, when the omicron variant hit and the district reported 1,422 cases for the whole month.

Those 339 cases for April are more than double the 167 cases reported in the district in March, according to the tracker.

Since March 1, when the Greenwich school district moved to a mask-optional policy, a total of 755 cases of COVID-19 have been reported among students and staff. That is more cases than were reported in the entire 2020-21 school year.

According to the tracker, the monthly totals for new cases of COVID-19 reported in the Greenwich school district have varied widely, with 339 cases in April, 167 cases in March, 137 cases in February, 1,422 cases in January, 392 cases in December, 65 cases in November, 29 cases in October and 58 cases in September.

The school district updates its online tracker twice each week to keep the community informed on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Previous reporting by Staff Writer Jordan Fenster is included in this story.