Long Beach school district’s Covid numbers remain low


So far this year, the Long Beach School District has escaped the widespread Covid-19 outbreaks that have been seen in a number of other districts since September, according to officials.

Superintendent Jennifer Gallagher said Long Beach has had 21 positive cases since school began.

“We have additionally only had to quarantine four students since September,” Gallagher said.

Most of the positive cases have been middle or high school students and staff, she said.

A total of 6,577 students across Nassau and Suffolk counties have tested positive for the coronavirus since the start of September, according to the New York State Department of Health. Over the past two weeks alone, there have been 2,654 new cases, or 68 percent of last month’s total of 3,923.

There are 125 public school districts and 656 public schools across both counties. Long Beach has six schools. School officials here said the district has complied with all state Covid-19 guidelines.

Dr. Andrew Smith, the high school’s vice principal, said he believes the students have played a key role in keeping the numbers down. “We’ve had a good number of students who are vaccinated,” Smith said. “The kids have been very compliant with the masks as well.”

Teachers and staff have also allowed students to be outside for at least two periods a day during good weather, including during lunch. “We try to keep at least half of the kids outside during their lunch period,” Smith said. “The weather has been extremely helpful in keeping kids outside and in the open air so far.”

Inside school, masks are required, and students must sit three feet apart. If they must take their masks off for any reason, they must sit six feet apart. Mask breaks are allowed throughout the day.