A sign regarding the requirement to wear face coverings is displayed on a school bus parked at a local high school. (Photo by Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MOORE, Okla. – A high school student in Moore, Oklahoma attended their first day of school on Aug. 13 despite knowing that they were positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a letter sent to parents from the school’s administration.
“Once administrators were made aware of the student’s health situation yesterday evening, MPS Nurses and the health department were immediately involved,” according to the letter from Westmoore High School administrators, published by KFOR.
Westmoore High School nurses reportedly performed contact tracing in hopes of identifying anyone on school grounds that the student may have been in contact with in a bid to prevent an outbreak at the school.
A letter was sent out to parents and guardians informing them that “the classrooms and facility have been deep cleaned and disinfected.”
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School administrators requested that students, staff, parents and guardians monitor their health and not come to the school sick with COVID-19, but school administrators did not state in the letter if those who were in close contact with the student should self-quarantine as an extra precaution.
“In order for us to have some type of normalcy and continue with in-person education and events, we must continue to be accountable for our health and safeguard each other,” the letter reads.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department announced on Thursday that it had been notified of a possible coronavirus exposure at school facilities in Oklahoma County. But the health agency would not immediately identify which school faced the possible outbreak.
“The impacted schools are assessing the situation and determining how to move forward for the safety of students and staff. OCCHD is proceeding with its standard process involving case investigation of an infectious disease in a school setting,” the agency tweeted.
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Around the country, the school year has already been off to a troubled start as hundreds of U.S. students were forced to quarantine after individuals tested positive for COVID-19 at their respective schools.
Georgia has so far seen the largest coronavirus outbreak in schools. The Cherokee County School District, the largest in Georgia, released a statement on Aug. 12 saying that over 1,200 students were sent into quarantine after 59 students, teachers and staff members had tested positive for COVID-19.
Last week, the Washington Post reported that 116 students from schools in Corinth, Mississippi, were sent home to quarantine after six students and one staff member tested positive for the novel coronavirus.
Superintendent Lee Childress said in a Facebook Live broadcast on Aug. 4 that “just because you begin to have positive cases, that is not a reason for closing school.”