SCRANTON, LACKAWANANA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Before the school year even started, one local school district is already facing the prospect of a student bringing COVID-19 into the classroom.
On Tuesday, Scranton Prep confirmed to Eyewitness News that they are revising their plans and suspending fall sports and all student activities as they await test results for a student presumed positive for the coronavirus.
“Honestly in this day and age that we’re living in not much surprises me so I think we’re going to, until there’s a vaccine, we’re going to see these things,” parent Dana Haggerty said.
Haggerty’s son Ethan is a student at Scranton Prep. She says she isn’t concerned about sending Ethan back to school.
“I do not. I think we need to live the best we can in this day and age. I think no one will honestly be safe until there’s a vaccination,” Haggerty said.
Haggerty says that she believes Scranton Prep will continue to keep students safe with precautions as they prepare to welcome students back into the buildings.
“It’s a great school. You really feel like you’re a part of something so I think all the kids really miss that,” Haggerty said.
“I’m excited. I’m excited to get back into the building, it’s a great place. Even though it’ll definitely feel be different,” Ethan Haggerty said.
The school’s current plan for the fall semster of 2020 is a hybrid model with students in the building in a socially distant setting. With a possible positive case of COVID-19 already coming up on the radar, some are worried this reopening will be short-lived.
“There’s always the looming concern of you know it overwhelms the building and students will pop up with cases and ultimately we’ll have to go back to full-time online learning but I feel that Prep will ultimately do everything in their power to make everything safe as possible,” Ethan Haggerty said.
Parents say the responsibility of keeping everyone safe is not just on the school, but also the student body.
“If you’re following the rules, and you’re doing everything right this pandemic is going to go away. If you’re not following the rules, we’re in big trouble,” Mauri Collins said.
But the current state of the pandemic remains uncharted territory for both parents and officials alike.
“You know, we’ve never been through this before and obvsiously my children’s safety and health is you know, my number one priority,” Collins said.
“We had four tryouts starting the next day and there was word that maybe that student would have had an opportunity to be in contact with other students so as a precautionary measure, we’re following the PDE and DOH advice which is to just kind of pause until we have more information,” Kristin Cupillari, Principal of Scranton Prep, said.
Even so, administrators say that the possibility of having to deal with COVID-19 on campus has been a scenario they’ve prepared for.
“We have been really talking about this scenario since March, I mean we knew this was a possibility for a very long time,” Christian Davis, Vice President of Scranton Prep, said.
Now, the school has followed their plan to mitigate the spread of the virus as much as they can.
“More and more, we’re really taking out time on this. I mean it’s the first time we’ve had to exercise our procedures on this,” Davis said.
Davis says that fortunately, he doesn’t believe many students were exposed to the possible positive case.
“I will say that it’s a very, very small percentage of our school community. Very, very small,” Davis said.