Coronavirus infects people at Princeton party — School district takes precautions
PRINCETON —The borough school district is dismissing classes early on March 12 and 13 and will consider remote learning next week after at least five people who attended a party in the borough returned positive tests for the new coronavirus.
The five positive test results were for out-of-state residents, health officials said. Fourteen borough residents also were at the party, nine of which have reported symptoms.
The Princeton Department of Health said that a total of 47 people attended the party on Feb. 29, including two from Boston and three from Pennsylvania. Two residents from South Brunswick also attended the party, which led to the cancellation of school on Wednesday. The South Brunswick residents self-quarantined and had not tested positive as of March 11.
No parents of any Princeton school students attended the party but they may have come in contact with partygoers at work or other situations.
The Princeton Department of Health said all the people who attended the party were advised to self quarantine.
Princeton schools Superintendent Steve Cochrane said in an email to parents of the Community Park School that a student whose parent had "possible proximity to a co-worker who might have been in contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19" is being kept home pending test results of the individual at the party.
The parent is not showing symptoms of the virus, according to Cochrane.
Princeton health officials said that a quarantine for the child is not necessary but the "parent is concerned about community transmission and is committed to pursuing the most cautious course of action going forward," Cochrane said.
Cochrane said in a written message that the district is aware that "some residents of Princeton have been exposed to the virus," which has led to an acceleration of preparations for remote learning. Early dismissals on Thursday and Friday are part of that preparation.
Plans are also being made to provide meals for 500 students who participate in the federal lunch program.
The district is also implementing "social distancing" by postponing events that would have brought large groups of people together.
School athletics and drama events have not been canceled but could be at a later time, school officials said.
The South Brunswick district has switched classes to "virtual learning" on Thursday and Friday.
Princeton University announced Wednesday it has closed its campus down to all undergraduates and moved all classes online for the remainder of the semester due to the outbreak in an effort to “reduce density on campus.”
More from WOBM News: