The employee was a staff member at Carnevale Elementary School in Providence. The school has not been required to close by state health officials. 

“The school can remain open if we take certain actions,” said district spokesperson Laura Hart.  “One of those actions is cordoning off, restricting access to the area where that particular staff person was. And we’re doing a deep cleaning over there.”

The district has not said whether the staff member was a teacher, but says they had minimal contact with students. The Rhode Island Department of Health is helping conduct contact tracing. 

“And they have asked anybody who’s a close contact to be in quarantine for two weeks,” Hart said. “That includes, in this case, the principal and the assistant principal.”

District employees in the central office will be sent to Carnevale in the intervening weeks to fill in for the quarantining staff members. According to state guidelines, in the event that a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19 at school, only those who have been within six feet for at least fifteen minutes will be required to leave school and quarantine.

Before the start of the new school year, a staff member in the Bristol-Warren school district tested positive for COVID-19, prompting a school to close. On Monday, state education commissioner Angelica Infante-Green said that several students being homeschooled have tested positive, along with at least one member of a district soccer team -- all of whom are now quarantined. 

The state is providing testing and contract tracing capabilities to all students, and school staff in public and private schools.