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Lincoln Orens Middle School employee tests positive for coronavirus

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An employee of Lincoln Orens Middle School has tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Island Park School District officials.

Superintendent Dr. Rosmarie Bovino revealed on Thursday that the employee was being tested. On Saturday, the individual told the district that they tested positive, and Bovino sent out another notice to inform the community.

The employee was last at work on March 13, and “will not return to work until an appropriate health care professional determines it is safe to do so,” the statement read.

The school district issued a third statement about steps taken since the confirmed case. With cooperation of the employee, district officials have identified people who the employee had direct contact with. Those individuals have been notified and advised to consult with their doctors about self-isolation or social distancing.

In addition, the district has closed the middle school and Francis X. Hegarty Elementary School, as well as the conference center. Therefore, Monday's virtual Board of Education meeting has been postponed to March 30 at 7 p.m., and the schools’ grab-and-go meal program will move to Long Beach. Details are posted on the Island Park Schools’ website.

On Sunday, Assistant Superintendent Vincent Randazzo posted a letter to the community informing them of cleaning protocols that will go into place as a result of the case. The district has contracted Belfor Property Restoration to conduct a special, biohazard decontamination of all buildings. This includes wiping down all surfaces thoroughly with Bioesque Botanical Disinfectant and using electrostatic disinfectant spray, the letter said.

The company will clean the middle school Monday and elementary school and conference center Tuesday. The conference center will re-open on March 26. The school buildings will re-open on March 30, at which time the district’s grab-and-go food program will continue. As of now, school instruction will resume on April 1, and the district said it would notify the community immediately if the date changes.

“As always, the safety and well-being of our school community is our utmost priority,” Randazzo wrote. “We appreciate your understanding during this challenging time.”