Numerous high school students from South Jersey have tested positive for COVID-19 after a Shore party, officials said.
The students from Kingsway Regional High School in Gloucester County had attended a party in Sea Isle City on August 13, according to James Lavender, district superintendent.
The school serves students from East Greenwich Township, Logan Township, South Harrison Township, Swedesboro and Woolwich Township.
Lavender said in a letter to parents and guardians that the Gloucester County Health Department is “working hard to determine the extent of this exposure.” He noted that direct information about the exposures has been difficult to obtain.
“Unfortunately, inconclusive and intermittent social media posts have become our best resource of information, exhausting both education and health officials throughout the process,” Lavender said in the letter.
The superintendent wrote that anyone who attended the party should get tested for COVID-19 and self-quarantine. Lavender pleaded for cooperation in order to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
“We need your help as the status of this investigation is fluid and communication is vital as we work to mitigate additional community spread,” the superintendent said, adding that students risk transmitting the virus to their peers, coaches, and family members.
The district has discontinued all captain-led sports practices for the duration of the summer recess, along with the 7th grade tour on August 26 and the high school open house on August 26-27.
Lavender said the probability of opening schools to in-person instruction and remaining open rests with the entire school community.
“We each must play our part to be good neighbors and practice the health measures promoted by many health experts. This experience underscores the realization that every student, parent, faculty and staff member has a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and every member of our school community,” he said.
Details regarding the health status of the students and if the virus was transmitted to others were not released. An email seeking additional information from the Cape May County Health Department, the agency with jurisdiction over Sea Isle City, was not immediately returned.