NEWMAN - Two Newman-Crows Landing Unified School District classroom staff members recently tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Randy Fillpot confirmed Tuesday.

Fillpot said the district learned over the weekend that a Hunt Elementary School staff member had tested positive.

Fillpot and Ryan Smith, the district’s director of human resources, said that as a result of the positive test both cohort groups in a hybrid-model class at Hunt Elementary School on Monday were shifted to distance learning only, and reported that the county public health department had ordered a quarantine for those in one of the cohort groups.

“I am thinking we can bring everybody back (to resume in-person instruction) right after Thanksgiving,” Fillpot said. “That could change, if somebody else tests positive.”

Tracing determined that no staff or students outside the classroom had been in close contact with the employee and was considered at risk of exposure, Fillpot told Mattos Newspapers.

The district had been notified on Friday that a Yolo Middle School staff member tested positive for COVID-19, according to the superintendent. That staff member did not have students in the classroom and contact tracing determined that there was no close contact with other employees, Fillpot said.

In each case, he said, the room of the employee was thoroughly cleaned and sanitized. 

Heightened campus cleaning protocols previously enacted in response to the pandemic continued as well, he noted.

“The containment of all of this is critical,” Fillpot emphasized.

With each case, he explained, the district turns to public health officials for guidance and initiates contact tracing to determine if others were at potential risk of exposure.

Two district employees had previously tested positive for COVID-19 in August, the superintendent said. That was before in-person instruction had resumed on local campuses.

Elementary campuses in the district resumed in-person instruction Nov. 2 with a hybrid model that blends distance learning and classroom instruction. Some small groups of at-risk students have also been receiving in-person instruction at Yolo and Orestimba.