Students at a South Philadelphia Catholic high school are transitioning to virtual-only learning for a couple weeks after at least three students tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Saints John Neumann and Maria Goretti High School President Joseph McColgan and Principal Hugh Quigley announced the changes in a letter Monday.
The three students that tested positive for COVID-19 are in two different grades and each are believed to have been exposed to a contagious family member, the letter said.
School leadership said it reached out to the Philadelphia Health Department, which didn’t mandate that they cease hybrid learning. But, “out of an abundance of caution,” Neumann Goretti decided to go to all-virtual instruction to give the health department time to contact trace.
"What's very important is that so far we have none of the sites where we have evidence there’s infection spread within the school," Philadelphia Health Director Dr. Thomas Farley said Tuesday while addressing COVID-19 cases reported among students and/or staff in at least a couple dozen schools throughout the city.
Neumann Goretti asked that any students in a household where someone is exhibiting coronavirus-related symptoms to notify the school so they can track any potential outbreaks.
Students had been attending in-person classes two to three days a week, so they already are familiar with virtual learning schedules. Students will now be learning virtually from Tuesday until Oct. 23. The school plans to bring students back to the classroom on Monday, Oct. 26.
In the meantime as student learn online, the school reiterated calls for good hygiene and the use of face coverings when around people who aren’t in your immediate family.