I apologize for the late call tonight, but I have a very important message about coronavirus cases in Pine Bush.
On Tuesday, June 16, I was alerted by the Orange County Health Department that a Pine Bush employee had tested positive for COVID-19. At the time, we did not know who this person was or where they worked in the district. Following our effort to provide factual information as it became available, I sent an email to all the staff to share this news and I told everyone that I would be getting tested in hopes of modeling the importance and ease of testing. Apparently, some folks assumed that if I were getting tested, the individual must have been someone that I worked with directly.
Late Wednesday afternoon, we learned that the individual who tested positive was in fact an employee from our district office. Over the course of Wednesday night and through the day today, we followed advice of the county health department and informed folks who might have interacted with these people, noting that they should only be concerned if they had “close contact” – which is defined as being within less than six feet for more than 10 minutes. We also continued to encourage folks to consider going for a COVID test or consulting with their physician. As more people went for tests, the number of known infections grew. As of this evening, we now have three positive cases in the district because case two and three reported their results to either myself or Assistant Superintendent Donna Geidel personally.
At this point, I want to press the pause button so that we can try to discover if there are other cases that have not yet been reported to us and to get further guidance from our public health partners. Therefore, in an abundance of caution, I am closing the entire district tomorrow, Friday, June 19, so that we can gather as much information as possible before determining what, if any, additional actions might be required. I will follow up with another update tomorrow night.
I want to emphasize to our parents and families that none of the positive cases would have jeopardized our food preparation and distribution program at our Children’s Meal Stops, nor should you need to worry about the pickup of belongings that has occurred throughout this week.
If we need to take any further actions, we should be able to determine what those might be tomorrow.
Have a great evening!
Tim O. Mains, Pine Bush Superintendent