NEW BEDFORD — Another New Bedford school employee has tested positive for COVID-19.

Just a day after reports that a teacher at Gomes Elementary School had tested positive for the novel coronavirus and was self-isolating at home, an email went out to parents of students at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech on Thursday stating a faculty member at that school had tested positive and was also self-isolating at home.

The letter from Superintendent-Director James O’Brien states that the faculty member did not have contact with students, but that “several co-workers who have been in close contact with the infected employee are now also self-isolating as well and will be tested for COVID-19.”

Those test results are expected tomorrow, and O’Brien stated the school “may need to take other steps to isolate this situation.”

O’Brien also ended the letter by stating, “This may be the first incident, but may well not be the last.”

Here is the letter in its entirety:

Dear Parents,

I am writing to inform you that a member of the faculty at Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech tested positive for COVID 19 today and is now home self-isolating. This individual did not have contact with any students. However, several co-workers who have been in close contact with the infected employee are now also self-isolating as well and will be tested for COVID-19, we anticipate having the results of those tests tomorrow. Those co-workers have not shown any symptoms of COVID-19 at this time. However, based on the results of COVID-19 testing anticipated tomorrow, we may need to take other steps to isolate this situation.

Protocols from the Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Health are guiding our response to this situation, and we will continue to rely on that guidance throughout this pandemic.

I will continue to update you as developments warrant with regard to this situation and how they may impact your child, if at all. Please be assured that the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is our number one priority. This school year is going to be one where we are faced with continuing challenges as a result of COVID-19, and we will be required to respond to those challenges with little warning. This may be the first incident, but may well not be the last and I thank you all for your support of our school, each other and for your patience.

Regards,

James L. O'Brien

Superintendent-Director

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