Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, has ended its fall sports season and is moving to remote learning through the rest of October because of "significant community exposure" to people with COVID-19, the headmaster said in a letter to the school community.
Headmaster Timothy Powers said a person who was last on campus on Oct. 8 tested positive for COVID-19. He said another person who had been exposed to that person went to the campus Wednesday, despite being told to quarantine.
Powers said the school was aware of significant community exposure to the cases linked to activity outside of the school's daily operations. He said the cases all stem from people not following quarantine guidelines.
Powers said so many staff members and students might have been exposed that the school could not remain in its hybrid model with so many people possibly needing to quarantine.
Some parents on Thursday said they understood the need to go fully remote, but they don't support the decision to cancel fall sports.
"We're still outside. "It's an outdoor sport, the weather is still good, I wish they could continue," parent Tina Guillmette said.
Her son, Andrew, agreed.
"It was heartbreaking, devastating," he said.
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Andrew Guillmette and his friends are wondering why football has been canceled when none of the student-athletes tested positive.
"We also have due diligence to make sure we are keeping everyone safe and healthy," Powers said.
The headmaster said there is a chance that football could resume if there's no further transmission of the virus, but he said it's too soon to make that decision.
"What we really need to do is take the next three to five days to see how widespread it becomes," Powers explained.
Pinkerton will stay fully remote at least until the end of the month.
Already more than 1,400 people have signed a petition calling for the continuation of fall sports.
Meanwhile, the Derry school is working with the Department of Health and Human Services on contact tracing. It will reassess the situation at the end of the month.