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Local health departments in constant contact with local schools

Published: Sep. 15, 2020 at 10:43 PM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - Health departments are working closely with schools in the Shenandoah Valley to track COVID-19.

Laura Lee Wight with the Central Shenandoah Health District said the health department staff are in contact every day with local schools.

Like any positive COVID-19 case, the health department will conduct an investigation and work closely to determine what students, faculty and staff were exposed.

When it comes to making decisions to close schools if an outbreak does occur, that is up to the leaders of the school division.

On Monday, Spotswood Elementary School decide to close after three employees reported feeling sick. SES will be closed for seven days.

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.

“Each school is going to have their own, kind of like a trigger point for closing down facilities and as for Spotswood, obviously they were able to make the decision based off the trigger point that they had," Wight said. "That might be different for different schools based off of the complexity of the situation.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Norm Oliver said on Tuesday that DOH will keep track of outbreaks at Virginia’s K-12 schools.

Oliver said they can provide information, but would not commit to releasing specific data for each school.

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