Greenfield Exempted Village Schools Superintendent Quincey Gray told The Times-Gazette on Thursday that one of their students has tested positive for COVID-19.
This marks the first instance of a student testing positive in any of the Highland County school districts or private schools, according to updated information from the Ohio Department of Health.
“We were notified by the Highland County Health Department about our first student positive COVID-19 test result since the start of school on Saturday, Sept. 26. We immediately began the contact tracing process. The principal worked with staff members directly connected with the student and the health department. The process was completed quickly and smoothly,” Gray said.
She said the next step in the process involved the principal providing contact information to those who needed to be quarantined by the health department.
Health department employees handled contacting the families of the affected students and provided the information to them, Gray said.
“The principal then contacted all parents and guardians of students in the affected building using our all-call system,” she wrote. “The health department has provided us with a script to use when relaying information to families. In addition, an email was sent to the parents and guardians via FinalForms. Finally, the information is posted in the COVID-19 section on our district website. All staff members in the building were contacted by the principal as well. Any contacts made are done so in a manner that maintains confidentiality.”
Gray praised the Highland County Health Department for the efficiency and smoothness of the contact tracing process, in addition to the cooperation and support of the staff, parents and guardians.
“Having a positive case in our district was inevitable,” she said. “In our eyes, it’s all about how it was handled, and we feel good about the process we completed.”
The student who tested positive has been placed in isolation, Gray said, and the students who were designated as close contacts of the student were placed in quarantine.
The health department maintains regular contact with people in quarantine in order to monitor any symptoms if they were to have them, she noted.
Data from the Ohio Department of Health has shown that the coronavirus has largely sidestepped schools in Highland County. But that’s not the case in nearby counties.
In Pike County, four cumulative positive tests have been reported at the Pike County Area Joint Vocational School, along with two students from the Eastern Local School District in Beaver.
At the Fayette County Christian School in Washington C.H., seven staff members and two students have tested positive for COVID-19.
A total of three students and six staff members have tested positive in the Scioto Valley Local Schools, with Waverly City Schools bearing the brunt of positive COVID-19 tests with cumulative totals of 13 students and five staff.
Ross County was dealing with two positive tests Thursday among staff in the Chillicothe City Schools, Adena had one staff member that tested positive; the Pickaway/Ross County Joint Vocational School and Unioto each had one student test positive, Unioto reported four cumulative positive tests in staff, and Zane Trace showed it had a total of two staff members who tested positive.
Brown County confirmed it had a staff member that tested positive in the Eastern Brown School District, Clinton County reported one positive student case in the Clinton-Massie School District; and Fayette County listed one COVID-19 positive student case at Miami Trace, in addition to the Christian school cases.
Throughout the Buckeye State as of Thursday, the state health department reported that there have been a total of 155,314 COVID-19 cases with 134,216 recoveries.
Those that have been hospitalized totaled 15,606, with 4,817 reported deaths from the virus.
For more information about ODH’s public health advisory system, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/public-health-advisory-system/.
For more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ohio, visit coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.