Just a few hours before the first day of school began, a junior high in Indiana had its first confirmed COVID-19 case. According to reports from NBC5, a student at Greenfield Central Junior High School tested for the virus earlier this week, but they didn’t know their results until Thursday.
Superintendent Harold Olin said the Hancock County Health Department notified the school about the infection, at which time the student had only attended in-person classes for part of the day. Families of children who spent more than 15 minutes within six feet of the infected student were made aware of the case later that night, according to reports from IndyStar.
Now, anyone who was in close proximity of the student is reportedly required to quarantine for 14 days. In addition, any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 are prohibited from returning to campus until 72 days after symptoms stop showing. Even after this incident, students and staff members who did not have close contact with the infected child will resume in-person classes as planned.
“We understand that this information will cause concern for some of you,” The superintendent said in a statement to Fox59. “It was very evident today that nearly all of our families and students were prepared to properly follow the safety protocols we have established. We thank you for your continued cooperation with our request for daily self-screening. Adhering to these protocols is essential for maintaining a safe environment for all students and staff … Our job becomes exponentially more difficult when students come to school without meeting the expectations of the self screening tool we’ve asked families to complete each day. This is a bump in the road in our reentry process we were not counting on, but we have protocols in place for positive cases. We have initiated them.”
In the statement, Olin also noted that families had the option to continue remote learning, but only 15 percent of the student body chose to do so.