Providence public schools reopened on September 14th. In two weeks, 17 students and three staff members have tested positive for the virus across 11 buildings. As a result, 44 staff members and 134 students have been required to quarantine. 

According to district spokesperson Laura Hart, none of the cases appear to be related, with the exception of cases involving family members. None of the reported cases include students enrolled in the district’s virtual learning academy. Students in the virtual learning academy, are taking classes online only. At the start of the year about 6,500 of the city's approximately 24,000 had signed up for the program.

The first case of COVID-19  in the Providence Schools was reported after the first day of school, in a staff member at Carnevale middle school. That case also required the school principal and assistant principal to quarantine. 

“We continue to work closely with the Dept. of Health to manage any COVID-19 cases in our school system,” said Hart in an emailed statement Tuesday. 

Providence and Central Falls were the only two districts in Rhode Island not cleared for full in-person learning at the start of the new year, based on the incidence rate of COVID-19 in the two communities. 

The Providence schools began with in-person classes limited to younger elementary school students and sixth and ninth graders. Over the past two weeks, more students have begun returning to buildings. According to the district website, high school seniors are set to return to in-person classes, on a rotating schedule, this week.

"At Providence Schools, we did expect to have a number of isolated cases, just as we are seeing," said Superintendent Harrison Peters in an emailed statement Tuesday.

"At present, it does not appear that we have spread happening within any one school, and that is positive news.”

 This post was updated at 9:30pm to reflect updated numbers provided by PPSD officials.