LETTS — The Louisa-Muscatine School District reported Wednesday finding the second case of COVID-19 in the school district and this time it was one of the staff members.
According to a letter sent to staff and families from Superintendent Mike Van Sickle, a staff member at Louisa-Muscatine Junior-Senior High School tested positive for the virus. It also says the district is working closely with local public health officials to assist with any contact tracing.
Any people who are identified as having been within “close contact” of the subject as defined by public health officials will be tested. The letter states that people not receiving separate communications have not been identified as having been in close contact with the subject.
Van Sickle was out of his office all day Thursday and could not be reached for further comment.
“You are receiving this communication because we wanted to be upfront and make you aware of the situation immediately so you had an increased awareness and could respond accordingly,” Van Sickle said in the letter. “Upon the advice of local public health officials, we ask that parents/guardians continue to monitor their students’ health; that employees continue to monitor their own health; and that every individual remain home if they exhibit any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19.”
Symptoms may include fever/chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, loss of taste or smell, a sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea or other symptoms.
Van Sickle said in the letter that the district is continuing to be diligent in following the latest guidance from public health agencies. He says the safety and well-being of the students is the top priority of the district.
In mid-September, the district reported its first case of COVID-19 in a student. Currently, face-to-face classes are still continuing at all L-M schools.
“The Department of Education, with the Iowa Department of Public Health, has put out measures to try and determine when a school might have to go to a hybrid model or online only, and we’re not even close to any of those suggestions at this particular point in time,” Van Sickle said during a previous interview.
He said the district would keep an eye on the situation, and if the numbers change, they will consider changing how they approach education methods during the school year.
Van Sickle wanted to assure families that schools are making the safety and well-being of students their top priority.
“We have the utmost interest of students at mind, both educationally, emotionally and physically,” Van Sickle said, “and we will continue communication with public health any time something within the nature of COVID-19 is known or we have knowledge of. We will follow directives as outlined by the Department of Education and the Iowa Department of Public Health.”
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