Junior high school student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day of school

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Tuesday, August 4, 2020
Student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day of school
Press play to hear more from the superintendent on what the school did in response.

GREENFIELD, Indiana -- A junior high school in Indiana put its COVID-19 plan to work after a student tested positive on the first day of school.

Officials said the student attended part of the school day on Thursday.

"We immediately pull that student from class. We isolate them in a specific place in the clinic. Get the kid home," superintendent Dr. Harold Olin told WXIN. "We start doing contact tracing which means we go to those teachers. We get a seating chart. We find out who is in a close proximity to them. And I use that term 'close proximity' - that means within 6 feet for 15 minutes or longer."

As the new academic year approaches, many schools across the country are gearing up for possible similar situations.

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Patricia Wood's daughter is an 8th grader participating in virtual learning at home.

"That's why I was really hesitant to send my children back to begin with," she said. "I mean, it was really a no-brainer for me. Like I said, the numbers have just gone up so fast in the last couple of weeks."

Health experts said your child should not be attending school if they have coronavirus symptoms, been tested and are awaiting results, been in direct contact or around someone who has tested positive, or has a fever above 99.5 degrees.

"I mean not only are you risking your family, but you're risking everybody else's family as well," Wood said. "It's just not worth it."

Olin said some families requested to keep their kids home after learning of the positive case.

"There's no way that you can completely keep that out of a school corporation with 4,400 kids or even if you have 300 kids in a school," Olin said. "You're likely going to have it at some point."

"I do think they are handling it as best as they can," Wood said.