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Plainview-Old Bethpage schools closed Wednesday due to coronavirus concerns

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District canceled classes

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District canceled classes Tuesday because a staff member has a confirmed case of the coronavirus, Superintendent Lorna Lewis said in an email sent to the school district community.  Credit: Barry Sloan

Plainview-Old Bethpage schools will remain closed Wednesday, and some area colleges and universities have canceled campus classes, all due to concerns about the coronavirus.

The Plainview-Old Bethpage Central School District canceled classes Tuesday because a staff member has a confirmed case of the coronavirus, Superintendent Lorna Lewis said in an email sent to the community. School officials expect classes to resume Thursday, after all high-touch areas are cleaned and disinfected in the district’s seven buildings.

“We have brought in a professional cleaning service for Pasadena Elementary School and are using our custodial staff to deep clean all other buildings. We anticipate having this done in time for a regular opening of school on Thursday, March 12, 2020,” read the email.

As a precaution, the 4,900-student district will host an educators conference Wednesday to begin planning for remote instruction, Lewis wrote. “Staff will begin planning for tele-learning in the eventuality that the district may need to be closed for a prolonged period of time and NYSED regulations are changed to permit this type of learning for attendance purposes,” she wrote.

A handful of other districts — Glen Cove, Locust Valley, Oyster Bay-East Norwich — were closed Tuesday. The districts had reported on their websites that two individuals involved in transporting students tested positive for the virus. Locust Valley said it will open on a two-hour delay Wednesday. Glen Cove and Oyster Bay-East Norwich said they will reopen Wednesday.

Oyster Bay-East Norwich Superintendent Laura Seinfeld said in a note to parents that there are no confirmed cases of the virus among students or staff and that the bus company has taken the buses in question out of service.

Friends Academy in Locust Valley was closed Tuesday, according to a notice on the school’s website. The campus will remain closed through Friday, but online instruction for grades pre-kindergarten-12 will begin Wednesday. The Portledge School, a private school in Locust Valley, also was closed Tuesday. The school said online instruction for its middle- and upper-school students will start Friday.

Schools in the Shoreham-Wading River Central School District reopened Tuesday after being closed Monday.

The Westbury school district remained open Tuesday, but alerted parents that a family in the district was under mandatory quarantine after coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus. According to a notice posted on the district’s website Monday, Westbury is working with the Nassau County Department of Health.

“Based on our discussions with the Nassau County Department of Health, they have not advised us to close schools and will continue to monitor the family and provide updated information during the time of quarantine,” read the notice.

Wantagh school officials said they will remain open, after being made aware of a confirmed case. The community member has a child who attends Wantagh High School, according to the email from Superintendent John C. McNamara. The child and spouse of the resident have been self-isolated, and both received negative test results, he said. 

The Long Island Regional Spelling Bee, which was scheduled for Thursday at LIU Post in Brookville, has been postponed and rescheduled for April 2, a Scripps National Spelling Bee representative said in an email.

More SUNY students arrive

Four more SUNY students arrived Tuesday at the Stony Brook Southampton campus, which has been housing students who returned from abroad under a voluntary quarantine, Southampton Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman said. The four students came from South Korea and are separated from the 22 students who came from Italy and were quarantined after arriving Saturday. No students are showing symptoms, and all 26 students are still there, Schneiderman said.

The students are staying in residential buildings that previously were unoccupied, with refrigerators and microwaves in each room. Medical doctors are monitoring the students.

Several area colleges and universities are moving to online instruction leading up to spring break, which starts Saturday for several schools.

Nassau Community College posted on its website that “the college has its first confirmed positive association with the virus and as such we are closing the campus through Wednesday in order to clean the campus according to appropriate guidelines. Face-to-face classes have been suspended through the end of the week. Online classes will continue.”

New York Institute of Technology announced that in-person classes were suspended for Long Island and New York City campuses, effective Tuesday. And NYU announced that at its New York campus, all classes will be conducted remotely beginning Wednesday.

A statement from NYIT announcing the suspension of in-person classes at Long Island and New York City campuses said, “Going forward, all classes on these two campuses will be taught online, via videoconferencing, or with some combination of digital techniques until further notice.”

At Hofstra University, all on-campus classes are canceled through Friday. Molloy College is suspending face-to-face instruction for academic credit coursework at all locations beginning Wednesday through March 28. Adelphi University posted on its website that the school is shifting the majority of its classes online starting Wednesday to Saturday leading up to spring break.

With staff reports