A staff member and student in Louisa County Public Schools tested positive for COVID-19 after contracting the virus away from their respective schools, less than a week after the school district started the school year with staggered in-person classes, according to the division.
On Wednesday, Trevilians Elementary told families that a student tested positive, a day after Moss-Nuckols Elementary told families that a staff member tested positive.
Neither the staff member nor the student have been in school this week, according to the schools’ letters. Division officials said a minimal number of people have been asked to quarantine by the Thomas Jefferson Health District.
“If your family has not received a direct call from a local health official, we do not believe your student was in close contact with this student at any time,” Trevilians assistant principal Christy Conway wrote in a letter to families.
The Thomas Jefferson Health District recommends that both schools remain open. Contact tracers with the health district called all the close contacts by Wednesday afternoon and will monitor those who have to quarantine or isolate.
Louisa County started the school year last Thursday with a range of safety measures in place. About two-thirds of the division’s 5,000 students are entering school in-person during the week on a staggered schedule. Masks are required and students stay in one room for most of the day.
“Our administrative team has contacted all students and staff who we have preliminarily identified as potentially being in close contact,” principal Anita Roane wrote in the letter to families Tuesday. “With the safety guidelines and physical distancing measures we have in place at our school, our hope is that a minimal number of people will be considered having been in ‘close contact’ with the staff member.”
Those who were not contacted do not need to stay home or exclude themselves from activities.
As of Wednesday, Louisa County had 219 cases, which is about 10% of the total cases in the Thomas Jefferson Health District. Of those, 25 people have been hospitalized and two have died.
Parents at the school are asked to monitor their child’s health and watch for any symptoms of COVID-19. Families in the school district are supposed to perform a daily health screening before sending students to school. Students and staff members are required to have their temperature checked before entering buildings.
“At this time, I ask for your patience as we work through this situation,” Roane wrote. “I also ask that you not post speculative comments or opinions on social media, as they can greatly hinder the work of our local health officials. Your cooperation is greatly appreciated.”