9/8 Positive COVID-19 Cases at GMHS

Melissa Fullerton
By Melissa Fullerton September 8, 2020 17:15

Hello Governor Mifflin families,

As an integral part of our district’s Health and Safety Plan communications protocol, I provide the following advisory. Today, we learned that a student and staff member at Governor Mifflin High School have tested positive for COVID-19. These cases are not related. 

Here are the facts regarding student case that are appropriate to share:

  • The student attended school one day on the morning of Monday, August 31.
  • The student attended a gathering the weekend prior to the first day of school.
  • The student does not use district transportation and is not involved in sports or extracurricular activities.
  • Upon returning home from school on August 31, the student developed symptoms and did not return to school for the remainder of last week or today.
  • The student was tested for COVID-19 and the district was made aware of the results today.
  • We have already spoken to the individuals who will need to quarantine or complete additional follow up with a health care provider.

Here are the facts regarding the staff case that are appropriate to share:

  • The district was made aware of a high school staff member who was in contact with a positive case and that staff member was sent home immediately out of an abundance of caution. 
  • The staff member was and continues to be asymptomatic.
  • The staff member received positive COVID-19 test results today.
  • We’ve confirmed with the PA Department of Health that no students require quarantine because there was no close contact. However, students in this staff member’s class have been contacted by the district.

In following our protocols, our district administrators have consulted with the PA Department of Health to provide immediate assistance in completing contact tracing. As a reminder, and per the PA Department of Health, close contact is considered interaction between two or more individuals in a space less than 6 feet apart for more than 10 minutes. 

We understand that this news is not what any of us wanted to hear as we begin the second week of our school year. It is important in this case to note the following:

  • In both of these instances the initial exposure occurred outside of the school setting. 
  • The PA Department of Health confirmed that the district is able to have these measured responses due to the cleaning and masking protocols currently in place as per our Health & Safety Plan.
  • Student and staff safety continues to be our utmost priority and we know that additional cases could force changes to portions of or all of our in-person learning options. 

For these reasons, we must continue to closely follow the guidelines and self-assessments as outlined in our District Health & Safety Plan without fail. 

This plan only works if we all do our part to ensure that we are making decisions to keep each other healthy. If students or staff find themselves in a position where they may have been exposed to COVID-19 and need to take a test, the time to notify your school nurse or building principal is at the time the test is requested and not after results are received.

If a student is exhibiting any symptoms of illness, that student should not come to school. If students are asymptomatic or feeling well enough, they can still continue with classwork remotely to avoid falling behind when they are not able to attend school in person.

Again, I understand that this is not the news that any of us wanted to hear. Our commitment is to keep all of our families informed and we ask that you continue to do the same so that we can make informed decisions regarding the safety of all who enter our buildings.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steve Gerhard
Superintendent
Governor Mifflin School District

Melissa Fullerton
By Melissa Fullerton September 8, 2020 17:15