Rhode Island high school goes remote after COVID-19 outbreak tied to homecoming dance

A Warwick, Rhode Island, high school moved to remote learning on Monday due to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases tied to the school’s homecoming dance earlier this month.

The decision comes as health officials tied a growing number of students and staff testing positive for the virus to Pilgrim High School holding its first homecoming dance since the start of the pandemic, according to WPRI 12 .

“Roughly 25 cases among students and staff have been identified,” Rhode Island Department of Health spokesman Joseph Wendelken said Monday. “Those individuals could have had many exposures, but more than half reported attending the homecoming dance.”


Only a small number of students wore masks when they attended the homecoming dance, according to the local news report. Social distancing was also reportedly not enforced.

Remote learning at the school will continue through Friday. The health department will set up a testing site at PHS on Wednesday for students and staff, according to the outlet.

Warwick Superintendent Lynn Dambruch wrote in a Sunday email to families and staff that the move to remote work is “a serious situation that needs cooperation from the entire Pilgrim community.”

Of the 1.06 million residents who live in Rhode Island , 3.1% have tested positive for COVID-19. A total of 829,349 residents have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 752,133 residents are fully vaccinated, according to the state’s Department of Health .

PHS has not yet responded to the Washington Examiner’s request for comment.

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