According to an announcement posted on the Vinton County Local School’s Facebook page, a staff member at West Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. The staff member is currently at home in quarantine. Contact tracing is being done by the Vinton County Health Department.
Superintendent Rick Brooks assured families that the district is cleaning and sanitizing the buildings per the Health Department guidelines.
Some students and staff are expected to self quarantine after being in contact with the positive staff member. One student is in quarantine as a result of the case. Currently 4 students and 1 staff member are quarantined from Wes Elementary school.11 students have returned from quarantine.
When The Courier reached out to Supt. Brooks, he expressed how smoothly things have been going with how Vinton County Schools as a whole has handled the pandemic.
“Our parents and our kids and staff are handling it quite well. I think everyone has pretty much accepted the fact that COVID exists, it’s all around us, and certainly there’s going to be some cases,” he said.
As far as safety precautions, the school district is following all guidelines including erecting desk shields, enforcing face masks and social distancing, and regular disinfecting around the schools.
In the event of a positive test, parents are notified via a robocall as well as a letter being placed on the school district website. At the specific building where the positive test occurred, a second letter of notice is sent to the families informing them of the schools cooperation with the local health department. From there, if any students need to be quarantined, the health department will contact the family.
Vinton County Schools are doing in person classes five days per week for students who chose to do so. Students who wanted were able to do online education from home. At the start of the semester, about 505 students across the county went online only but as the semester comes to a close that has decreased to about 380.
Brooks had much praise to give staff and parents who have helped students navigate the changes this year, “We had a lot of kids who wanted to come back to school. The parents have been wonderful prepping the kids to get them back in the classrooms and wear their mask. We haven’t had any problems whatsoever as far as everybody masking up and following guidelines. Kudos to our parents for the prep that they’ve done at home and certainly our staff for doing what they can”