Coughlin, Mackin schools closed due to COVID-19

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Both Coughlin and Mackin schools were closed Tuesday morning immediately after the school district was informed that an employee received a positive result for a COVID-19 test.

Students who attend Coughlin and Mackin schools in Wilkes-Barre were told to work remotely. Parents say they were notified of the closure over the phone.

“This morning, they sent us a text,” says says Crystian Tavarez, a parent.

Both schools were shut-down due to “an abundance of caution,” according to the Wilkes-Barre Area School District’s website.

The school district’s superintendent Dr. Brian Costello said they were notified of the positive test result on Tuesday morning.

In a statement to the school community, Costello said, “The district has been in contact with the State Rapid Response Center, Department of Health, Department of Education and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.”

“I got a little bit scared, you know, but more for the kids. I want the kids going to school being there with their teachers and stuff. It kind of gets me nervous, you know, of course, but I think it’s kind of important for education for how it normally is,” says Tavarez.

Families in the Wilkes-Barre Area School District had a choice this fall when it came to learning.

Tavarez has three children in the district. He says he chose in-person-learning in hopes of better learning and socialization, but adds health concerns will always be there.

“It scares me for the kids, but I confide in the teachers. I believe in them, that they are taking the proper measurements like social distancing, wearing the masks, making sure they sanitized.”

Tavarez says he hopes they reopen as soon as possible.

“Hopefully they reopen tomorrow, if not, gotta adjust.”

Superintendent Costello adds, “The district will continue to collaborate with state and local agencies to assist in contact tracing.”

The school district now says that in person instruction will resume on Wednesday, Sept. 23 for both schools.

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