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Henry County staff member tests positive for COVID-19 after students returned to classroom

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HENRY COUNTY, VA – A G.W. Carver Elementary School staff member tested positive for COVID-19 after students returned for in-person instruction on Monday.

Letter to parents (October 12, 2020)

Dear GWC Families:

Our school division is informing families that a GW Carver staff member has been diagnosed with coronavirus (COVID-19). This person was on school premises on October 12 and did have direct exposure with other members of our community. We received notification of a positive test on October 12. The area(s) where the staff member visited today are being deep cleaned and sanitized this evening. Those individuals with direct exposure were notified as soon as we knew of a possible exposure and are currently quarantining.

GW Carver Elementary School will remain open during this time. We are working closely with the Virginia Department of Health to identify anyone else who had close contact with the person to determine whether they may have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19. If you or your child are identified as having been potentially exposed, the Virginia Department of Health will contact you to ask that you please stay home and monitor for symptoms of cough, shortness of breath, or a temperature higher than 100.4°F, and practice social distancing for 14 days from your last contact.

If you are not contacted by the health department or informed by the school, you do not need to stay home or exclude yourself from activities at this time. The school has already notified the individuals in this situation of whom we are aware that had direct exposure.

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.

People without symptoms do not need to seek care or be tested. Those who become ill should contact their healthcare provider. Your 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 students and staff healthy and safe. 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.

It is our goal to continue to provide our students and staff a safe and innovative learning environment. We appreciate your partnership in keeping everyone healthy during this time.


Sandy Strayer

Division Superintendent

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