HORSEHEADS, NY (WENY) -- The Horseheads Central School District sent out an email to parents Friday evening, after a school staff member tested positive for COVID-19.

In the email, Superintendent Dr. Thomas Douglas says the district was notified Thursday that a staff member at Gardner Road tested positive for the virus. As a result, the district closed three PreK classrooms at the school on Friday, while the health department investigated. Upon guidance of the health department, two of those classrooms will reopen on Monday. 

The staff member who tested positive is under quarantine, as is students and staff who were in direct contact. According to the district, siblings of the students who had direct contact with the staff member are to remain home on remote learning until their PreK sibling is cleared to return to school.

You can read the full message from Dr. Douglas below:

Dear Parents/Guardians:

We would like to be sure you are aware of information we have shared with families at Gardner Road. Yesterday we were informed of a positive COVID-19 test of a staff member at Gardner Road. We have been working closely with the Chemung County Health Department, following all of their protocols. As a result, we closed the three PreK classrooms at Gardner Road today (Friday, September 18) while the Health Department conducted its investigation. Upon advice of the Health Department, we are reopening one of the three PreK classrooms at Gardner Road Monday. The two PreK classrooms remain closed. Those under Department of Health quarantine include the staff member that tested positive and the students and staff that were direct contacts of the positive case. The siblings of students that had direct contact are to remain home on remote learning until their PreK sibling is cleared to return to school. Parents of students required to both quarantine and remain home on remote learning have been informed.

We wish to assure all parents, students, staff, and community that the classrooms, hallways, and related areas at Gardner Road and all of our schools have been and continue to be sanitized and disinfected using the most effective state-approved products available to schools. We are following all cleaning protocols required by the state and doing all that we can to protect the health and safety of our students and staff. We also would like to remind everyone to please follow best practices and wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash hands well and often. We will get through this situation together through everyone’s cooperation.

If you have questions about COVID-19, please contact the Health Department at 607-737-2028. If you have questions about the health of your child, please contact your health provider. If you have questions about your child’s education, please contact your school’s Main Office. Thank you.


Dr. Thomas J. Douglas, Superintendent of Schools