CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- A staff member at Chicopee Public Schools has tested positive for COVID-19, officials confirmed.
Chicopee Public Schools Superintendent Lynn Clark told Western Mass News the employee notified them, which then prompted officials to follow protocols developed by Mass. Department of Elementary & Secondary Education (DESE) and the Department of Public Health (DPH).
"The last time the employee was on school premises was more than two days before the onset of symptoms during a professional development day when no students were present," Clark added.
She also said they are working in collaboration with the local health department on this matter.
Western Mass News spoke with one parent whose oldest son just started back in the classroom at Chicopee High School.
“That’s horrifying. I didn't know that until speaking with you. I'm very scared, I almost don't want to send him Monday now. It's a lot to think about over the weekend," said Chicopee mother Kyra Rodriguez.
Rodriguez's son started back in the classroom at Chicopee High School this week because he is an IEP student with learning accommodations. Rodriguez is now deeply concerned about her son.
“Also, my son, who goes to Chicopee schools, is asthmatic and epileptic, so that's also an issue," she added.
Another Chicopee mother is also concerned but isn’t super worried because her children, who are currently learning remote.
“I don't think it's that much of a big deal, because the kids are home remote learning. As long as the kids are home remote learning, then I don't see what the problem is. I still think it's, kind of, dangerous and risky," said Chicopee parent Melissa DeJesus.
DeJesus also told Western Mass News she isn't comfortable with her children going back to the classroom for now.
"I am very concerned about letting him go back to school. I'd rather for him to do remote learning," she said. "I don't know, I just feel like he could be safer at home without getting sick.”
Currently, most Chicopee students are remote. Only some students are back in class full-time.