SHELTON — Another school community member — this time at Elizabeth Shelton School — has tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the total number across the district to 13 since classes resumed.

In an email to parents, Interim Superintendent Beth Smith stated that an individual at ESS tested positive, but health officials determined there was no need to close the school or quarantine anyone besides the infected person.

"The affected person has been instructed to remain home in self-isolation for 10 days and has been provided with additional instructions to follow prior to returning to school,” Smith said. “Family members have also been instructed to self-quarantine and get tested.”

The last day this individual was at ESS was Oct. 14, Smith said.

“The Naugatuck Valley Health Department has determined that no students or staff members were close contacts to the individual who tested positive for COVID-19, therefore no contact tracing at school is necessary at this time,” Smith said.

Smith said the district is closely monitoring the situation and working with the health district to provide updates as necessary.

High school students, on full distance learning since Oct. 13, returned to in-class learning on Tuesday — two days earlier than originally planned.

Smith said Shelton Intermediate School, also placed on full distance learning Oct. 13 after positive tests among the school community, will not reopen its doors until Thursday.

“District and building level administrative teams have been working hard to return our students and staff to Perry Hill Elementary School, Shelton Intermediate School and Shelton High School on their cohorted schedules prior to the announced return to in-building learning dates,” Smith said.

“This includes the monumental task of securing coverage for 40 staff members on quarantine,” Smith added.

Two dyads — which each contain two teachers and some 48 students — have been quarantined as well. Smith said one of the dyads returned for in-person instruction on Wednesday.

These Perry Hill School students will return following their Tuesday/Thursday A-L, Wednesday/Friday M-Z cohorted model. Smith said Perry Hill Principal Lorraine Williams will communicate with the students and staff at her school regarding who will return.

High school students and staff will return following their Tuesday/Thursday A-L, Wednesday/Friday M-Z cohorted model.

Students who have opted into full distance learning in pre-K through grade 12 can continuing learning remotely through November, according to Smith, as the district moves into its next phase of reopening.

"As we enter fall and beyond with Halloween, Thanksgiving and the holidays coming, I remind everyone that the spread of COVID-19 is taking place in the community,” Smith said. “Please take every precaution to keep yourself and your family healthy including wearing masks over your nose and mouth when not at home, washing your hands frequently and getting plenty of rest.”

brian.gioiele@hearstmediact.com