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Staff in two Atlantic City schools test positive for COVID-19

Two Atlantic City schools staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, BreakingAC has confirmed.
One case is in Pennsylvania Avenue School, the other in the city’s High School.
The teacher’s union has been pushing for staff to be given the option of teaching from home, Atlantic City Education Association President P.J. Dollard said.
A week ago, he again addressed the issue at the Board of Education meeting, he noted.
“We are deeply disturbed to learn of two positive COVID-19 cases in our school district,” Dollard wrote in an email. “The safety of our students, staff and community is our top priority. These positive cases happened before the students returned, so it is only logical to assume cases will increase if we return too quickly to in-person instruction.”
The union is demanding that the district allow staff to work from home on a volunteer basis, that the district install air filters in the schools’ HVAC systems and implement more stringent classroom and work area cleaning protocols.
Superintendent Barry Caldwell did not return requests for comment.
The district sent letters to staff on Monday.
Then, “my phone blew up,” Dollard told BreakingAC.
“A lot of people are frightened to come to work, which is not right,” he said.
While students are not attending class in any of the district’s buildings, there are pick ups of certain items for some.
“The longer we wait to address these critical health and safety issues, the more severe consequences will be for our school community,” he said.
Board of Education President John Devlin said he had not heard about the COVID cases until a BreakingAC reporter reached out to him Monday.
The news came just as St. Augustine Preparatory School students were returning to remote learning following two unrelated students testing positive for the virus.
As a result, the state Department of Health required the school to go remote until at least Oct. 12.

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