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Spotswood Elementary closed due to potential COVID-19 outbreak, one staff member positive

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 10:39 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) (UPDATE 9/15) — According to Harrisonburg City Public Schools, one staff member at Spotswood Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. The division is waiting on the results of two other staff members.

(ORIGINAL STORY 9/14) — On Monday, Harrisonburg City Public Schools made the decision to close Spotswood Elementary School for the next seven days due to a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

Michael Richards, division superintendent, said the school division has two protocols put in place to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. He said on Sunday night, the school went into containment mode after an employee reported being sick at the elementary school last week.

Richards said the employee went to see their doctor and was told it is probable they are positive for COVID-19. That employee has been tested and awaiting test results.

“We don’t know if there is a case there or not,” Richards said. “The employee did exactly what they were supposed to do when they feel symptoms and reported it to the principal, so we immediately went into containment mode.”

Two other employees from the elementary school have reported feeling sick and are waiting on their COVID-19 test results as well.

Over the next week, the school will be deep cleaned but will be closed to teachers, students and staff.

Richards said the school division is working with the Virginia Department of Health on potential contact tracing. He said it was the Central Shenandoah Health District’s idea to close the school for seven days.

Harrisonburg City Public Schools returned back to class on Aug. 31 with some students returning physically to the classroom.

Those students will be learning virtually over the next several days.

The meal pickup for students will not happen at the Spotswood Elementary School location on Tues. Sept. 15. Parents or guardians may pick up meals at other locations in the city.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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