An increase in COVID-19 cases in the Sayville Schools community over the holiday break has pushed the district to switch entirely to remote instruction for the week of Jan. 4.

“Because of the impact these numbers have on staffing, in addition to the potential for community spread following the holidays within our schools, we have made the difficult decision to switch to remote instruction for the week of January 4th,” Superintendent John Stimmel wrote in a message to the community.

“This is to better protect the health and safety of our students and staff which is always our number one priority.”

Middle and high school students will follow their regular schedules online, while elementary students will be contacted by their teachers on Monday and follow a remote schedule for the rest of the week.

“We regret the inconvenience that this decision may cause our families;” Stimmel wrote. “However, it is our hope that switching to remote instruction during this critical time of the pandemic will better enable us to return to in-person instruction as quickly as possible.”