NEW BEDFORD — Less than a week after it was reported that a faculty member at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School had tested positive for COVID-19, a student has tested positive as well.

In an email sent to parents, Superintendent-Director James L. O’Brien acknowledged that the school staff was notified this morning that a student in a vocational-technical pod had tested positive.

The “pods” are smaller groups of students and teachers kept separated from other pods to minimize the risk of exposure to the coronavirus, should someone test positive.

According to the email, the student was in a pod with five other students and two teachers. O’Brien said that both teachers would be tested for COVID-19 and that the school was encouraging the parents of the other five students to have their children tested as well.

All six students and both teachers have been sent home and will be required to quarantine for 14 days before being allowed to return to the Voc-Tech campus.

O’Brien also noted that the student who tested positive “was not in contact with the general school population, was not on a school bus or in contact with the faculty member that tested positive on September 17.”

It is just the latest incident of a member of a school population in the city testing positive. Previously, a teacher at the Gomes Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 back on September 15.

Read O’Brien’s email in its entirety here:

Parents of Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech Students,

Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School was informed that a student tested positive for COVID-19 this morning. This student was in a vocational-technical pod along with five other students and two teachers.

All of these individuals have been dismissed from the campus and will be required to quarantine for 14 days. Our two faculty members will undergo testing for COVID-19 and we are encouraging the parents of these five additional students to have them tested as well.

This student was not in contact with the general school population, was not on a school bus or in contact with the faculty member that tested positive on September 17.

The career/technical area, as always, will be thoroughly disinfected by our facility maintenance/custodial staff. Protocols from the Centers for Disease Control, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the MA Department of Health, and the local Board of Health are guiding our response to this situation, and we will continue to rely on that guidance.

As a reminder it is vitally important for the well-being of everyone, if your child is not feeling well or is displaying any symptoms of COVID-19 we ask you to please keep your child home.

Sincerely,

James L. O’Brien

Superintendent-Director

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