DITMAS PARK – P.S. 139 will be shutting down for 24 hours after a second staff person tested positive for the coronavirus.
The school building (located at 330 Rugby Road), will be closed for an initial 24-hour period tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16 while the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Test + Trace conduct an investigation. One staffer was confirmed to have the coronavirus on Friday, September 11. A case had been reported to the NYC Department of Education (DOE) and was confirmed right away. Today, the principal called in a potential case and once the case was confirmed, the DOE shut down the building. According to the DOE, the school community was notified of the first case and will be notified of this as well.
Both cases are potentially unrelated, the DOE said. Last week, a Bronx school shut down for 24 hours after two positive confirmed coronavirus cases. P.S.139 is the first in Brooklyn to do so.
“This is aligned to our policy of closing a building when there are two cases within 7 days in separate rooms,” the DOE said in a statement. “The second case escalation and fast response is the result of our Situation Room.”
This comes a day after teachers at P.S. 139 staged a “work out” saying schools were not safe to enter. Teachers and staffers had penned a letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chancellor Richard Carranza, and the president of the United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew, saying they had legitimate concerns in returning to the building after the Friday confirmed coronavirus case. Schools are set to open on September 21, and these teachers feel it is unsafe to do so. You can view the letter here.
As of now, an investigation is underway and all close contacts are being quarantined. Depending on the status of the investigation, the DOE will be providing an update tomorrow at 6 p.m. on whether or not the building will be open the following Thursday.