Page Schools report 8 cases of COVID after first week of classes

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PCPS COVID Cases
Page Valley News will have continuing coverage of the Coronavirus' impact on Page County Public Schools.

~ PVN staff report

LURAY, Aug. 31 — On Monday, Page County Public Schools reported eight confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students at five of the county’s eight schools after only the first week of classes in the 2021-22 school year.

After only five half-days of in-person instruction, PCPS issued five press releases on Monday, Aug. 30, stating:

• Our school division is informing parents and guardians that a student at Luray High School has been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This person was on school premises last on Friday, Aug. 27 before testing positive on Monday, Aug. 30. This person did NOT have direct exposure (within 3 feet for 15 minutes) with other members of the school community. Luray High School will remain OPEN at this time.

• Our school division is informing parents and guardians that two students at Page County High School/ Page County Technical Center have been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These students were on school premises last on Friday, Aug. 27 before testing positive on Sunday, Aug. 29. These students did NOT have direct exposure (within 3 feet for 15 minutes) with other members of the school community within 48 hours prior to symptoms. Page County High School and Page County Technical Center will remain OPEN at this time.

• Our school division is informing parents and guardians that a student at Springfield Elementary School has been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This person was on school premises last on Friday, Aug. 27 before testing positive on Sunday, Aug. 29. This person did have direct exposure (within 3 feet for 15 minutes) with other members of the school community. Springfield Elementary will remain OPEN at this time.

• Our school division is informing parents and guardians that a student at Page County High School has been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This person was on school premises last on Monday, Aug. 30 before testing positive on the same day. This person did have direct exposure (within 3 feet for 15 minutes) with other members of the school community. Page County High School will remain OPEN at this time.

• Our school division is informing parents and guardians that three students at Luray Middle School have been diagnosed with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These students were on school premises last on Friday, Aug. 27 before testing positive on Monday, Aug. 30. These students did NOT have direct exposure (within 3 feet for 15 minutes) with other members of the school community within the previous 48 hours. Luray Middle School will remain OPEN at this time.

Each notice from the local school division also stated:

We are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to identify anyone else who may have had close contact with the person to determine if they might have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID19.

If you or your child had been identified as having been potentially exposed, the Virginia Department of Health may contact you to ask that you please stay home and monitor your symptoms since your last contact for 10 days. If you are not contacted by the health department or have not been contacted by school administration, then you and/or your child do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time.

Parents should continue to monitor their child’s health and the health of their families for COVID-19 symptoms. Children with COVID-19 generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose, and cough. Vomiting and diarrhea have also been reported in some children. Children with certain underlying medical conditions, such as chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma, serious heart conditions, or weak immune systems, might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Contact your child’s healthcare provider regarding any concerns.

People without symptoms do not need to seek care or be tested. Those who become ill should contact their healthcare provider. Their doctor, in consultation with public health officials, will determine appropriate care and
whether testing is necessary.

If your child has been exposed to or diagnosed with COVID-19, please report this to your school. This information will be kept confidential.

Schools continue to utilize Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations on Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, to reduce viral transmission and keep our children and school personnel healthy and safe. Parents and family members can assist this effort by promoting healthy behaviors and following these practices:

• Stay home from school or work if sick, even if symptoms are mild.
• Wear a face covering in areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain.
• Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue (or sleeve), and then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Avoid touching the eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces that are often touched.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Take care of your health overall. Stay current on your vaccinations, including the flu vaccine, eat well, and exercise to help your body stay resilient.

The Virginia Department of Health provides information about COVID-19 and frequently asked questions (FAQ) from parents and concerned family members. The CDC offers tips to keep children healthy during this time. The Virginia Department of Education’s produced COVID-19: A Parent Guide for School Age Children and provides additional considerations for students with disabilities, guidance for military families and social emotional wellness for parents and caregivers.

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