Chase County Schools no longer COVID free
Last week’s issue of The Imperial Republican reported that Chase County Schools remained free of COVID-19 cases as of Wednesday morning, Sept. 30.
That all changed just after last week’s paper went out and the school began investigating a report of a positive case.
Superintendent Adam Lambert said that as of Wednesday morning, Oct. 7, 1% of the student body in grades K-12 had tested positive.
With 625 students enrolled, that means at least six students have tested positive for the coronavirus.
He said no new cases have been in reported in the first two days of the current school week.
After the first case was reported last week, Lambert said students in grades 7-12 were required to wear masks.
In a letter to parents, Lambert said they were not going to require masks in grades K-6. However, since more cases have been reported, students in all grades are required to wear masks now.
Lambert explained their goal is to prevent students from having to quarantine just because of close exposure while not wearing a mask.
New directives from the state do not require students who were in close contact with a student who tested positive to quarantine, as long as these other students were wearing masks.
The directives do require self-monitoring of these other students.
That’s a big change from where things were at the start of the school year, Lambert noted.
With cases present, Lambert said the school has moved to its operational plan three, which relates to an elevated amount of risk.
This protocol includes more temperature checks, increased sanitizing of surfaces and use of hand sanitizer, breakfast and/or lunches moved to classrooms, etc.
Lambert said their contact tracing indicates the school has not been the source for spreading the virus. That is also the case statewide, he said, based on conference calls with DHHS, the governor and health districts.
He said most of exposure is coming from parents who test positive and contracted the virus either at work or other events outside of the school.
He was unsure how many students may be quarantining at home due to family exposure of the virus.
“We are monitoring the students within our own walls” he said, noting that they are taking all precautions to reduce risks in the building.
Positive cases are showing up in other area schools as well. Both Wauneta-Palisade Schools and Perkins County Schools have reported cases amongst their student bodies.
Manor employee positive
Director of Nursing Margie Haider said one employee tested positive on Oct. 1 and has been in quarantine.
She said employees are being tested twice weekly. The most recent tests Tuesday all came back negative.
The good news is that no new residents in Parkview/Heights or in the Imperial Manor have tested positive.
The two residents who tested positive last week in Parkview/Heights were hospitalized and remain there for COVID convalescent care during their recovery.
Haider said they are continuing to take all preventative cautions, including full personal protective equipment.
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