LETTS — It was publicly announced Tuesday that a Louisa-Muscatine Jr./Sr. High School student tested positive for COVID-19.
In a statement to L-M students and families, superintendent Mike Van Sickle explained that those who had been in close contact with the student would be given additional guidelines for how to effectively quarantine themselves.
If a student or family doesn’t receive these guidelines, then they have not been identified as having "close contact" with the student.
“We’re working with county health on the tracking, so at this time, we do not have a specific number on students that might be quarantined," Van Sickle said. "We’re still waiting on that."
Currently, face-to-face classes are still continuing at all L-M schools, and the district continues to ask parents to monitor students and for faculty to monitor their own health.
“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.
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.
The district asked students and staff to remain home if they develop a fever, shortness of breath, fatigue, a loss of taste or smell or any other coronavirus symptoms. For a full list of COVID-19 symptoms, residents can visit the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.
This is the first positive COVID-19 case in an L-M school, but is not the first school-related case in Muscatine County. Three students from the Muscatine Community School District — two from Muscatine High School and one from Susan Clark Junior High — have tested positive for the virus. A staff member at Susan Clark also tested positive.
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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