One COVID-19 case has been found in Tri County Public Schools nearly three weeks into the 2020-2021 school year, according to Superintendent Randy Schlueter.
Schlueter said the case was confirmed Tuesday morning, and did not release whether the individual was a student or a staff member. He said the individual will quarantine for at least 10 days, and is required to be symptom-free for 24 hours before returning to the K-12 building.
Tri County classes started in the yellow tier of the district’s return to school plan, which recommends but does not require students and staff to wear masks.
Schlueter estimated that 90-95% of individuals are wearing masks at Tri County. He said he cannot confirm at this time whether the individual wore a mask or not, and that the district is currently working on contact tracing and cleaning the building.
“If students and staff are wearing masks, that puts them at a low risk where we would monitor their symptoms,” Schlueter said. “If the person who tested positive did not wear a mask, that would increase the possibility of spread to somebody else who didn’t have a mask. So we’re checking through the course of students and staff to determine mask usage.”
Schlueter said the classes will continue in the school in the yellow tier. Before Tri County classes started, Schlueter said that the district will not require masks unless there are multiple confirmed cases in the building.
“The changes would just be more of a heightened awareness again…If you don’t continue to teach and reteach and practice, we let some of those behaviors slide back into what had been our old or bad habits,” Schlueter said. “So we will emphasize tomorrow when all the kids are back in the building to be sure that they wear their mask, wash their hands and stay as clean as possible.”
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