MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — Even though school has yet to begin in Montgomery County, school officials announced the discovery of a positive coronavirus case from Auburn High School on Wednesday.
While Montgomery County Public Schools did not disclose whether the case was a student or a staff member, the district’s online COVID-19 database confirmed one positive case from Auburn High School as of Wednesday, Aug. 26.
“The purpose of this data is to provide MCPS families and staff with a transparent summary of confirmed COVID-19 positive cases resulting in exclusion from school activities,” school officials said at the top of the Montgomery County Public Schools’ coronavirus database. “A positive case indicates that the person has been tested and received a report confirming that they have the virus. These individuals will be isolated for a minimum of 14 days, or when they receive a negative COVID-19 case, before they can return to campus.”
According to a message sent to Montgomery County Public Schools families on Wednesday — which was confirmed by Brenda Drake, the director of communications and community relations for Montgomery County Public Schools — Auburn High School’s building will undergo a thorough cleaning, particularly in areas where the infected person may have been.
In addition, health officials are reportedly conducting a contact tracing investigation to identify any potential contacts in need of testing or quarantine.
In the meantime, officials with Montgomery County Public Schools say they will continue normal school operations, but they will offer extra reminders to students and staff about proper procedures for wearing face coverings and washing their hands.
You can read Wednesday’s full message to families in the Montgomery County school division below:
Today, MCPS was notified by the Montgomery County Health Department that a member of the Auburn High School community has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. We are sending a notification to the entire school division in order to be transparent and to give you all of the information that you need to know.
The Health Department is aware of this case and they are investigating potential contacts for additional testing or quarantine measures. MCPS will work closely with our Health Department to ensure that contact tracing is completed, and we ask that you follow their guidance. A contact is defined as someone who is within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive person for 15 minutes or more without a face covering.
There should be very few possible exposures during a school day if students and staff are wearing their masks, washing their hands regularly, and practicing physical distancing. A positive COVID-19 case in the school building does not mean that the person contracted the virus at school.
The entire school building will be thoroughly cleaned, with special attention paid to any areas where the infected person might have been. We will continue our normal school operations and will provide additional reminders to staff and students about proper masking and hand washing techniques.
In our commitment to maintain open and honest communication with our families, the MCPS Return to School Plan specifies that we will notify an entire school whenever there has been a confirmed positive case of COVID-19. We will not publicly disclose any further identifying information as all contact tracing will be handled by the Health Department.
We have launched a website to show the number of positive COVID-19 cases in MCPS. This website can be found at www.mcps.org/coviddata.
Please contact Auburn High School at 540-382-5160 if you have any additional questions or concerns. You may also contact the Health Department’s public health hotline at 540-267-8240.
Director of Student Services and School Safety”
You can check out the list of positive COVID-19 cases at Montgomery County Public Schools by following this link for the school district’s database, which is reportedly updated daily Monday through Friday.
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