WESTFIELD, NJ — The number of Westfield High School students with COVID-19 has risen to 13, with an additional seven students testing positive for the virus in recent days as school officials indicate trouble getting some youths to quarantine.

The additional seven students to test positive for coronavirus include some who have been on all-remote instruction, Mary Ann McGann, spokeswoman for the school district, said.

The high school had moved to remote instruction last week after learning that six students have coronavirus, and on Monday an email sent to parents indicated that some students were not cooperating with the health department.

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“It has come to my attention that student athletes, who were told to quarantine, have not been compliant,” said Athletic Director Sandra Mamary, in the email. “I implore you to heed to these regulations and stay home. The only way to get back into activity is if we have full compliance with the board of health and follow their regulations.”

She said that student athletes excluded from sports due to COVID-19 exposures or positive test results should not be participating in any activities outside their homes and should remain quarantined.

“If you are quarantining, there should be NO social interaction,” Mamary told families. “You should be restricted to an area of your house that is away from others in your family. Do not eat meals with your family and disinfect all areas that must be shared, such as a bathroom.”

Speaking with TAPinto Westfield, Mamary declined to discuss specific incidents of students not social distancing or violating quarantines, instead preferring to focus on what should be done. “We need to flatten this curve, so we can get back on the field. We need everyone to do their part,” she said.

It’s not the first time youths in the town have been reported to be in defiance of COVID-19 protocols.

Earlier this month, Westfield police reported crowds of up to 100 teenagers gathering in Mindowaskin Park where they were not wearing masks and not social distancing.

In July, the state Health Department’s commissioner reported 17 cases in Westfield tied to a graduation party. Local officials, however, were unable to verify specifically which Westfield cases the commissioner was referencing.

On Tuesday, across New Jersey there were 25 school outbreaks of COVID-19 on record with 111 cases linked to those outbreaks, according to the state Health Department’s coronavirus dashboard.

Union County reported the highest number of positive cases statewide at 238 new people Tuesday, bringing the county’s total number of cases to 19,918 people, state Health Department figures show.

Mayor Shelley Brindle was anticipated to provide a COVID-19 update Tuesday evening during a previously scheduled meeting of the town council.

Email Matt Kadosh at mkadosh@tapinto.net | Twitter: @MattKadosh

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