Andover High is closed to the majority of students, likely through the end of November, and sports have been halted at the school after three people there tested positive for COVID-19 this week, officials said.
Students and staff were released early from the school Friday afternoon, after two people there tested positive for the virus, Superintendent Shelley Berman said. School officials did not specify whether those people were students or staff members.
Those cases followed an Andover High student testing positive earlier in the week, officials said.
According to a school district website that posts COVID-19 information, there are three active cases related to the high school as of Friday.
The high school will remain closed, likely through Nov. 30, to students who were using a hybrid learning program — a mix of days in classrooms and learning remotely online from home, officials said. Those students will shift entirely to remote learning until the school reopens, according to a written statement from Berman.
A limited number of special needs students will be allowed to continue attending the school, which will receive a deep cleaning, officials said.
The school will conduct contact tracing because the two people who tested positive Friday likely had close contact with other people in the school, Berman said.
This comes after Andover High Principal Caitlin Brown sent a letter to parents Wednesday saying a student had tested positive.
"While we are unable to identify the student involved due to privacy regulations, we believe this student was in close contact with numerous AHS staff and students," Brown said in the letter to parents.
Students and staff members who had exposure to the infected student are being contacted by local health officials and asked to quarantine, Brown said in the letter. The same procedure applies to the two people who tested positive Friday, causing the high school to close, Berman said.
Sports and other after-school activities have been canceled as well, according to a statement sent out by the school district Friday afternoon.
According to the town website listing local COVID-19 information, there are 12 other active virus cases involving Andover schools — four at Doherty Middle School, three at West Middle, three at Sanborn Elementary and two at High Plain Elementary. None of those schools have closed and shifted entirely to remote learning as the high school has.
No information was available from school officials about why the high school closed while no other schools with similar numbers of virus cases were closed. School officials said they are aware of no social event where the virus could have spread among Andover High students.
As of Friday, Andover had a total of 70 active cases of COVID-19 — more than double the 31 active cases reported on Oct. 30, according to the town's website.