Photo from the Northwestern Regional School District No. 7 Facebook page
Photo from the Northwestern Regional School District No. 7 Facebook page
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NEW HARTFORD — School bus service to Northwestern Region 7 Schools from the town have been suspended until Thursday, Sept. 17 due to COVID-19 cases.
According to a press release by DATTCO Inc. of New Britain, two employees at the company’s New Hartford bus garage tested positive for COVID-19, including a driver of one of the school buses.
Company Chief Operating Officer Cliff Gibson wrote in a press release that the employees quarantined themselves immediately after the positive results.
“Our company concerns itself first and foremost with the safety and health of our passengers and employees,” Gibson wrote in a press release. “We sought expertise from local health officials and conferred with our customer school districts to help with our decisions in this matter. Based on the best information available, we elected to take steps over and above the required precautions. Therefore, we have offered testing to all our employees at the location and have suspended pupil transportation from that terminal for the next two days. During that time, we will ensure that our facility and buses undergo thorough sanitizing, and we will evaluate the test results as they become available.”
In a letter to parents, Northwestern Region 7 Superintendent of Schools Judy Palmer wrote that health officials have determined “no Northwestern student is considered a close contact of that driver and there was an ‘exceedingly low risk for students on that bus.’”
The district has remained open and will offer remote learning to any New Hartford student who cannot obtain transportation to the school.
School officially started in the district on Aug. 30.
According to the state, as of Monday, Sept. 15, there are 37 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in New Hartford.
According to the DATTCO website, the company’s school bus program serves 23 towns in the state.

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