BREAKING August 12, 2020
By Tia Lynn Ivey
A student at Morgan County High School showed up for the first day of school last Thursday but hasn’t returned since after developing symptoms of the coronavirus. School officials notified families on Wednesday, Aug. 12 that the student has tested positive for COVID-19, the highly contagious and potentially lethal coronavirus sweeping across the state, country and world. As a result 15 more MCHS students who came into close contact with the infected student have been sent home to quarantine for two weeks.
According to MCHS Principal Dr. Miki Edwards, all students who came into close contact with the infected student have been notified and will be required to quarantine for 14 days before they can return to school.
“Today, we learned that we had a student who tested positive for COVID-19. The student was present for the first day of school and then checked out on the second day due to not feeling well and has since not returned to school. The student is recovering and will return when the appropriate quarantine time has passed,” wrote Dr. Edwards in an email to MCHS families.
Dr. Edwards noted that each student who was potentially exposed to the infected student has been notified personally. Close contact is being defined as coming within six feet of an infected person for more than 15 minutes.
“When a positive case is reported, we have a protocol that has been developed by working closely with local public health officials to ensure the proper recommendations are followed to isolate the student diagnosed with COVID-19, identify close contacts, and clean and disinfect areas of the school building,” explained Dr. Edwards. “If you are not contacted personally by a school administrator or the school nurse, your child does not need to quarantine. Please continue to monitor your child’s health daily for any symptoms of COVID-19 and report any concerns that you may have to our school nurses or administration. We are working to keep the virus out of school so we can keep the students in the classrooms as long as possible!”
According to Edwards, no one from the staff is being required to quarantine.
“Fortunately, we didn’t have to quarantine any faculty or staff because they had maintained the appropriate distancing when the student was in class,” explained Dr. Edwards.
Students quarantined will continue school work at home.
“We also have a process in place to notify the students’ teachers and begin the process of making sure the student will have access to assignments,” said Dr. Edwards. “If the student has a good internet connection, they will be able to transition to using Google Classroom. If they don’t have great connectivity, we have a plan in place to provide hard copies or USBs to them, similar to what we did in the spring. We also have two staff members serving as liaisons to support students and their teachers while they are out.”
Edwards is assuring families that the school system is doing everything within its power to keep everyone safe.
“We know that this is a stressful time for many and we are really trying to keep COVID out of the building so our students can stay in. I can’t say enough about how appreciative we are of our students and teachers trying to make this work!” said Edwards.“Morgan County High School considers the health and well-being of our students, teachers, and staff to be of the utmost importance. Thank you for your support.”