Education leaders update R.I. Board of Ed. on return to school

RHODE ISLAND (WLNE) – The Rhode Island Board of Education met on Tuesday night to discuss the status of reopening schools across the state.

Board members met partially in-person, and partially over Zoom.

The state’s education commissioner was on hand to answer questions from board members about the return to school through grades K-12.

“Have there been any illnesses reported that relate to covid-19?” asked board member Jeffery Williams.

Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green replied there have been “a couple” of cases, but would not specify how many.

She said a majority of the coronavirus cases involve staff members.

“We have been pretty clear that if you have allergies or if you’re feeling sick, you should not come to work,” said Infante-Green, “In these cases, these adults did come to work.”

She said the other cases involving staff members came from college students who have been student teaching.

The education commissioner also said two students who are siblings tested positive.

“The majority cases of students that we’ve had are students who are in virtual learning,” said Infante-Green.

She said there should be a coronavirus tracking portal online by the end of this week or next week.

In postsecondary education, the President at the University of Rhode Island reported 61 new COVID-19 cases.

“Of the 61 students who’ve tested positive, or anyone who’s tested positive, they have all contracted it through very small group interactions, like giving somebody a ride home,” said Dave Dooley, President of URI.

Dooley said it’s the small group interactions that led to three Greek houses needing to quarantine.

“We’ve had no major off-campus parties or interactions,” said Dooley.

At the Community College of Rhode Island, four students and two staff members have tested positive.

“Our known COVID cases are currently very low,” said Meghan Hughes, President of CCRI.

Categories: Back to School, Coronavirus, News, Our Schools, Regional News, Rhode Island