Elizabethton City Schools confirms West Side Elementary employee tested positive for COVID-19

Local Coronavirus Coverage

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — A spokesperson with Elizabethton City Schools has confirmed that an employee at West Side Elementary has tested positive for COVID-19.

A letter sent out to parents at West Side Elementary on Saturday, Aug. 8, says an employee has tested positive.

West Side Principal John Wright issued the following comment in the letter to families.

“As stated, we have been notified of one individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who was present at West Side Elementary while potentially infectious. I would like to assure you that we, along with our local health department, immediately began an investigation to determine who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 10 minutes) with that individual. All who have been identified as close contacts have been notified and instructed to quarantine at home for 14 days from their last contact with that individual. Quarantined individuals are not allowed to return to school until the quarantine period has elapsed.”

Officials say they are following strict guidelines from the health department and CDC. The letter also said the custodial staff is working this weekend on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the school for the start of the staggered opening this Monday.

News Channel 11 was provided a copy of the letter, which you can read below.

“Dear Parent or Guardian,

This letter is to notify you that an employee in our school has tested positive for
COVID-19. We are keeping them in our thoughts and hoping they have a speedy recovery.

We are doing everything in our power to ensure the safest environment possible while continually providing education to our students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of our top priorities is protecting students, families, and staff, so our school district is following strict guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Tennessee Department of Health for the management of individuals diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19.

The custodial staff is working this weekend on cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, equipment, and other elements of the school for the start of the staggered opening this Monday.

As stated, we have been notified of one individual who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and who was present at West Side Elementary while potentially infectious. I would like to assure you that we, along with our local health department, immediately began an investigation to determine who may have been in close contact (within six feet for at least 10 minutes) with that individual. All who have been identified as close contacts have been notified and instructed to quarantine at home for 14 days from their last contact with that individual. Quarantined individuals are not allowed to return to school until the quarantine period has elapsed.

Individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 are to self-isolate at home for ten days from the onset of their symptoms. The individual must be fever-free for 24 hours and have improving symptoms before leaving isolation and returning to school.

While COVID-19 does not cause illness in every person who becomes infected, it is highly contagious. If we work together with students, parents, staff, volunteers, and the Tennessee Department of Health, we can avoid closing our schools.

If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact me at school.

Sincerely,

John R. Wright
Principal”

Continuing coverage of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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