Three Haverhill Students Test Positive for COVID-19; Exposure Said to be Limited

John Greenleaf Whittier School. (Jay Saulnier file photograph for WHAV News.)

Three Haverhill students—two middle school students and one attending Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School—have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are isolating at home.

The middle school students are a John Greenleaf Whittier School pupil, who attended classes without symptoms Monday, but became ill the next day, and a Dr. Albert B. Consentino student who was diagnosed today, but attended school Monday.

In an email to School Committee members, Superintendent Margaret Marotta said the Whittier middle student was in close contact with a friend from outside of school, but otherwise there have been no other reported close contacts. The Consentino student, however, is not considered to have any close contacts at school. Citing Massachusetts Department of Public Health definitions, Marotta explained, “an asymptomatic person with a positive COVID test is considered contagious for the 48-hour period before the test was administered. Thus, our staff and students in contact with this child on Monday are not considered to be close contacts and do not need to test, quarantine or isolate.”

Marotta said she was conferring with Director of Health and Nursing Services Katie Vozeolas and school pediatrician John L. Maddox and Whittier School Principal Tim Betty.

According to Whittier Tech Superintendent Maureen Lynch, said the infected student there has not been in the building since Thursday morning and will continue to isolate at home until cleared by the Haverhill Department of Public Health.

“Fortunately, no close contacts have been identified at Whittier Tech, and we wish this student well as they recover,” Lynch said. “We believe this was an isolated incident, but also are reminding students and staff to continue doing everything they can to stay healthy—wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing from people outside your household.”

The school explained contacts are defined as anyone who was within six feet of an infected individual for 15 consecutive minutes or more.

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