Greenwich schools see spike in COVID-19, with 225 cases reported in just a week

Eastern Middle School in the Riverside section of Greenwich, Conn., photographed on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

Eastern Middle School in the Riverside section of Greenwich, Conn., photographed on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019.

File photo / Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut Media

GREENWICH — With a report of 112 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, the Greenwich Public Schools has now seen 225 cases among teachers and staff just this week, according to the latest update on the district’s online tracker.

This is the largest one-week report of COVID-19 in the Greenwich school district since the week of Jan. 10, when 395 cases were reported, according to the tracker.

So far in May, 361 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the Greenwich schools, surpassing the 339 total cases reported in April, according to tracker statistics.

With 2,970 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.

The surge in cases in May in the schools matches a trend seen in schools across Connecticut as well as in the community at large. After seeing as few as 300 daily cases in mid-March, the state is now averaging nearly 1,400 per day over the past week.

As of Thursday, the state reported 4,732 new COVID-19 cases among students, up from 3,018 last week. Additionally, 1,431 staff tested positive, according to the state. For students and staff, those are the most new cases in a week since January. As a state, Connecticut’s seven-day positivity rate has hit 13.2 percent, also the highest since January.

As of Thurday, 158 of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities, including Greenwich, qualified for the state’s “red alert” category by reporting at least 15 daily cases per 100,000 residents over a two-week period. The rate in Greenwich was reported at 54.8 per 100,000 residents.

The spread of the BA.2 subvariant of COVID-19 corresponds with the extended spike in transmission in Connecticut, experts say.

“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,” said Jonathan Supranowitz, director of communications and board of education liaison at Greenwich Public Schools.

“As expected, we are seeing a steadily increasing positivity rate in the school community following our Spring Recess,” he said.

Active cases

As of Friday, the Greenwich Public Schools was reporting 119 active cases of COVID-19. That is up from 104 active cases reported Tuesday and 86 active cases reported May 6, according to the tracker. The number has surged in May, with only 49 active cases reported on May 3 and 45 active cases reported on April 29.

Those 119 active cases were impacting 100 students, 12 teachers, three service providers and three nonteaching staff members as well as one administrator, according to the district.

Active cases were reported in 14 schools in the district, with 30 cases at Greenwich High and 28 cases at Eastern Middle, according to the tracker.

The rest of the reports are in single-digits for each building, with nine active cases at Glenville; eight each at Western Middle and North Street; seven at Cos Cob; six each at Central Middle and the International School at Dundee; four at Riverside; three each at Hamilton Avenue and Old Greenwich; two each at New Lebanon, North Mianus and Parkway; and one in the Windrose program, according to the tracker.

A number of families in the Greenwich Public Schools have been hit hard by COVID-19 this school year, with 461 families reporting 994 cases.

More reports

Since the Spring Recess, with no classes from April 15 to 24, the total number of COVID-19 cases reported totals 468, according to the tracker.

In Greenwich, May, which is nearly half over, ranks as third for the most cases of COVID-19 reported with 361 new cases in just two weeks.

April ranks fourth with 339 reported cases. April and May have also seen some of the largest daily reports since January, when the omicron variant hit and the district reported 1,422 cases for the whole month.

The 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 979 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 Alex Putterman is included in this story.