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Our First Student Tests Positive for COVID-19

October 9, 2020

We made it longer than I thought we would.

Our first day with students was September 08, 2020. One month later, on October 09, 2020, my Louisiana high school had its first case of a student testing positive for coronavirus.

I appreciate the way in which the situation was handled. Our administration did not leave the issue to ferment in rumors. Instead, faculty received an email about a robocall sent to us and one to parents informing that a student (identity not released) tested positive for the virus, and that a local health agency has been informed and is guiding the process of contact tracing, which involves identifying students and faculty who were within six feet of the infected student for more than 15 minutes and instituting 14 days of quarantine for those individuals in order to combat potential spreading of the virus on our campus.

Such tracing is enabled by classroom seating charts that teachers are required to provide to admin for this very purpose. (The email also reminded faculty of the importance of keeping accurate attendance and updating seating charts.)

I also appreciate that having approximately half of the student body on campus enables individuals to maintain social distancing; that masks are mandatory (and that most individuals wear their masks consistently and correctly), and that admin actively work to keep students from congregating in hallways and at lunch.

We’ve had a good month. Our district admin intend to keep our hybrid attendance schedule for one more month, then maybe send all students back to school every day. I think it is a bad idea, especially since Louisiana’s COVID cases are once again rising following the state’s move to Phase 3 on September 11, 2020, and since both flu season and the holiday season are both approaching.

Like so much about life during this pandemic, we’ll just have to see what happens and how the governor and, in turn, the state and district superintendents choose to respond.

For now, for today, I appreciate where my high school is with this virus.


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  1. Christine Langhoff permalink

    I’m so relieved for you and your students this has been handled well and responsibly. Denial and mystery will harm everyone.

  2. Laura H.Chapman permalink

    I agree with Christine and continue to appreciate your detailed reports on coping with the virus and teaching your students. The students and the school is really fortunate to have you working during these really hard times.

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