WJ school leaders talk protocol after second positive COVID-19 case

(Posted Oct. 13, 2020)

Linda Dillman, Staff Writer

COVID-19 hit close to home for the second time in Jefferson Local Schools on Oct. 12 when the district and the county health department announced a high school student was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

“We are working with Madison County Public Health to identify people who may have been in contact with this person during their infectious period,” Superintendent William Mullett and district nurse Melissa Ferguson announced in a letter to staff.

Families were notified later the same night via an all-call.

“There is a protocol established by the health department,” said Mullett. “They’re out for quarantine for 14 days, depending on the exposure.”

Anyone identified as a close contact will be notified separately by Madison County Public Health, by phone or email, as part of their COVID-19 investigation process.

If the health department does not directly contact an individual, then they are not considered a close contact, are not quarantined, and may continue to report to school.

“Although our cleaning procedures have been strengthened this year, additional attention will be given to areas in the school as appropriate,” Mullett continued.

Mullett said the previous case of coronavirus was an elementary student who did not expose anyone at school, which is in full session, but a couple of bus riders were quarantined as a precaution.

“At the elementary, we’ve been able to separate every student by six feet because we have the space,” Mullett said. “At the high school, we’re on a hybrid model and only have half the kids at any one time.

“If you can do all that, you can hopefully spare yourself the effects of a quarantine.”

All parents and staff are asked to take the following steps to help limit the spread of the coronavirus:

  • Check daily for COVID-19 symptoms including a fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or running nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • If anyone in a household experiences any symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19, stay home, isolate, consult with a doctor and contact the health department at (740) 852-3065.
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