Caldwell County is seeing its ‘fair share’ of COVID-19 positive cases. The Pennyrile District Health Department reported 120 cases on Thursday, October 29, involving school students and staff that had been in contact with a COVID-19 positive person and were quarantining. As it stands, four of the students have tested positive. According to the Pennyrile Health Department two cases were confirmed Thursday, one on Tuesday, and one on Monday. All ages 5 -18.
Caldwell County Interim Superintendent Heath Cartwright posted a letter to the school district website informing the public about the quarantine. This particular quarantine began on Tuesday, October 21.
In a release from the superintendent’s office, it said, “Due to an increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases and the number of staff and students being isolated/ quarantined, please be prepared for a possible change to virtual or hybrid instruction for a period of time. At this time, we have 19 staff members and 82 students being isolated/quarantined (Approximately 30 of the 82 students are from two primary school classrooms where contract tracing determined the need for each class to be quarantined by the health department). The superintendents news release may be read in its entirety below).
The release also stated that the rise in cases is a cause for concern and for students and parents to be prepared for the possibility of a return to virtual learning.
The Executive Director of the Pennyrile District Health Department said that those who are contacts to the positive cases shouldn’t be confused with those who actually test positive for COVID-19. Positive cases are isolated for 10 days of their positive test or as they start to show symptoms. Contacts of positive cases are isolated for 14 days from their last day of the contact with a positive case.
A possible reason for the higher contact numbers in a primary care classroom is due to the amount of circulation an instructor has to make with the little ones. Their needs require more personal contact as opposed to a middle or high school classroom instructor.
The health department is working closely with those in the school district trying to determine those that have been in close contact with an infected person. The district is being cautious translating into a larger number of quarantined individuals. This is Caldwell County Primary School’s third classroom to be under quarantine.
The number of contacts prompted Cartwright to send out parent communication sharing with parents what needs to happen in order to remain on an in-person schedule.
As it stands, there have been no plans to change to a hybrid or all virtual learning schedule but there is the potential. Caldwell County is back in the red zone with 44.8 confirmed cases per 100,000 people over the last seven days.