USD 413 and the Neosho County Health Department announced on Thursday that two students at Chanute High School had tested positive for COVID-19. The students will not be allowed to return to school for at least 10 days, the new isolation period recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
While the district didn’t release how many people were in close contact (six feet or less for at least 10 minutes) with the individuals, they have notified every person who was potentially exposed, as well as students and teachers who were in class with them.
One particular group that was affected was the volleyball team.
“Potentially, all programs could be affected,” Superintendent Dr. Kellen Adams said. “One of the two positive tests today was directly related to volleyball.”
Adams said they have also informed all staff members who came into contact with the students.
“Each of the students who tested positive has seven different classes, so there is a potential exposure to all of those teachers. Because of this, we also sent a letter to the staff who were potentially affected,” Adams said. “At this time, it has not been recommended that any teacher or staff member be isolated or quarantined.”
Adams said the district is only informed of positive tests and did not know if the students were showing signs of COVID-19, which led them to get tested.
Adams sent the following statement defining close contacts:
A close contact is someone who has been within 6 feet of a case for 10 minutes or more or had direct contact with bodily secretions (for example, being coughed or sneezed on). Any students or staff that maintained a 6-foot distance from the positive case would not be considered close contacts and would therefore not be subject to the 14-day quarantine period.
If the positive case, or close contacts, or both, wore cloth facemasks at all times this reduces the risk of developing COVID-19 disease. However, the use of cloth facemasks does not eliminate the risk completely; therefore, close contacts would still be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Any close contacts that wore appropriate PPE, either a fit-tested N95 mask with protective eyewear or a surgical mask with a face shield, would not be considered close contacts.
The time period for close contact tracing includes any day(s) the positive student or staff attended school and the preceding 48 hours prior to symptom onset (symptomatic cases) or the preceding 48 hours prior to sample collection (asymptomatic cases).
The district prepared the following statement to CHS families:
“Chanute Public Schools was notified by the Neosho County Health Department that two students at Chanute High School have tested positive for COVID-19. In cooperation with the Neosho County Health Department, we are following tracing protocol and individuals in contact with the students will be notified by the Neosho County Health Department for further instructions.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to return to school for at least 10 days.
Individuals who need medical care should call their medical provider to report their illness prior to seeking care at a clinic, physician’s office, or hospital. Parents of students exhibiting flu-like symptoms or staff exhibiting flu-like symptoms are asked to contact a school nurse, local health authorities or the Neosho County Health Department. The district is closely monitoring this situation and will notify families if any additional actions need to be taken in the near future.”
The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the regular seasonal influenza and include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Some have reported additional symptoms such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea.