Jericho Closes Schools Over Coronavirus Fears

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The Jericho School District on Wednesday afternoon told students after-school programs were canceled and to go home immediately following the final class of the day. The district asked parents to “not contact your child’s school.”

Hours later, the district announced via email to students, staff and parents that the entire district would be closed on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13, due to concerns that someone in Jericho might have the coronavirus. The district originally said they had a “credible, unconfirmed report that someone in the community had contracted the coronavirus.”Shortly thereafter, the district did say the report was not true and no one has the coronavirus. After researching further, the district said they had no knowledge of anyone in the area who has been tested positive for the coronavirus.

However, the district’s schools are still closed on Thursday and Friday.

“We are receiving new information, guidelines and procedures from various agencies on a daily basis,” Jericho Superintendent Hank Grishman said in a statement on Thursday. “In a message that was sent to parents via a robocall on Wednesday, we asked parents to not call the school with follow up questions as we were sharing as much as we were able to and we were overwhelmed with phone calls. There was no new information at that time. As soon as we had more information, we followed up with another call.

“We are bound by many regulations, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as to what we can share. We are in constant communication with parents and staff, and sharing all of the information that we have. Please know that I hold the health and safety of each and every one of our children close to my heart. I truly feel that we are taking all possible measures to keep our children safe.”

The Syosset-Jericho Tribune will update this story as the district provides further information in the coming days.

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