A Bedford public school canceled a scheduled visit Friday by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus, a spokesperson for the New Hampshire Department of Education said.
"They had informed us this morning that they had a positive test and obviously wanted to cancel the visit" at McKelvie Intermediate School in Bedford, spokesperson Grant Bosse said.
DeVos was scheduled to visit McKelvie and Riddle Brook Elementary School in Bedford with New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut to learn more about the school district’s localized approach to safely reopening schools and how it’s providing both in-person and distance learning options for students.
The schools were chosen because of how they notified families about earlier cases of the virus, according to a school board meeting this week.
DeVos did go on to visit Riddle Brook on Friday, Bosse said.
The decision regarding McKelvie was made by school officials in Bedford, according to Bosse.
"We defer to local officials on how to run their schools," he said. "Not being in the middle of the school while they were doing contact tracing and other things like that just made sense.''
The U.S. Department of Education confirmed that the visit to the one school was canceled Friday "out of an abundance of caution" and that the school was executing its coronavirus response plan.
As of Friday, 7,861 people had tested positive for the virus in New Hampshire, an increase of 48 from the previous day. The number of deaths remained at 438. The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in New Hampshire increased over the past two weeks from 22 new cases per day on Sept. 3 to 34 new cases per day on Sept. 17.