NEW MILFORD, CT (WFSB) – A handful of seniors will be missing out on their big night because of a coronavirus exposure.
The students are fighting to attend and they have the CDC on their side.
In less than 24 hours, the Amber Room will be holding New Milford’s senior prom, but there are some who will be staying home.
Many districts are probably running into similar cases, but what’s different is that if the school is following the CDC guidelines, the students in New Milford would be allowed to attend.
After a year of masks, social distancing, and not being able to see friends, Jessica Matson and Alyssa Milczarski were looking forward to prom.
“It’s a really difficult experience navigating through how learning has changed and everything,” Matson said.
“It meant a lot considering we didn’t have our junior prom last year,” Milczarski said.
They were invested emotionally and also financially.
“We all got our dresses, we have our nail and hair appointments, picture ideas with friends,” Milczarski said.
But, they won’t be able to attend prom because nearly 10 days ago during lunch, they came in contact with a friend who tested positive for COVID-19.
“She said she had a sore throat and felt overtired,” Milczarski said.
The contact tracing began and the girls along with several other friends were told they needed to quarantine for 10 days and that they wouldn’t be able to attend prom.
“You’ve been looking forward to this for so long and just hearing those words, you’re kind of in shock. Really? I can’t go to prom,” Matson said.
While the girls spent the last week learning from home, they were also hatching a plan to get back to prom.
“I’m actually going to college to study immunology,” Matson said.
Matson pointed out the CDC loosened restrictions to include a seven-day quarantine with proof of a negative test. She also found the same guidance from the town’s health district.
They got their parents involved and called and emailed the superintendent. They also got tested twice.
“Negative each time and it wasn’t enough because the school still said no,” Milczarski said.
The district released a letter, also citing the CDC, which says even after seven days, people should, "avoid gatherings with people who are not in your immediate household."
On Saturday at 6 p.m., senior will head to the Amber Room in Danbury. When the clock strikes midnight, the 10-day quarantine will end for the two girls and they will have missed their prom by six hours.
“Senior prom is a once in a lifetime thing. You don’t get one in college and you can’t just throw a prom,” Milczarski said.