Ind. student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day of school

Published: Aug. 1, 2020 at 2:49 PM CDT
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GREENFIELD, Ind. (WXIN/CNN) --- An Indiana junior high school is putting their COVID-19 plan to work after a student tested positive on the first day of school.

The student at attended Greenfield-Central Junior High School for part of the day on Thursday. They had been awaiting test results, which came back positive.

The district’s superintendent, Dr. Harold Olin, says their plan was immediately put in place.

“We immediately pull that student from class,” Olin said. “We isolate them in a specific place in the clinic. Get the kid home.”

The school then started contact tracing, using seat charts provided by the student’s teachers to find out who was in close proximity to them.

“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. You’re likely going to have it as some point,” Olin said.

Olin says some families were requested to keep their kids home after they learned about the cases.

“That’s why I was really hesitant to send my children back to begin with,” said Patricia Woods, whose daughter is part of the 15% of the district participating in virtual learning at home. “… Not only are you risking your family but you’re risking everybody else’s family as well. It’s just not worth it.”

Wood also commented on how the district handled their first case.

“I do think they’re handling it the best they can,” she said.

Local health officials say children shouldn’t be attending school if they have coronavirus symptoms or a fever of 99.5 degrees, been tested and are awaiting results, or have been in direct contact or around someone who has test positive.

Olin said the district is working with families to guarantee kids stay home if they possibly have the virus.

“We are here to serve this community,” he said. “For us to be able to maintain this long term, we just to need to make sure that kids are coming to use healthy.”

The school says if a student misses classes due to coronavirus, it will be counted as an excused absence.

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