Positive Covid-19 case at middle school, no close contacts, superintendent says

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A Blaine Middle School student has tested positive for Covid-19.

In a January 12 email to parents, superintendent Christopher Granger notified Blaine Middle School families the school had a confirmed positive Covid-19 case.

Granger said the student is no longer in contact with students or staff, and the Whatcom County Health Department determined  no close contacts were associated with the student. If any were identified, the district would have had communication with the families of those students in close contact with the positive case, Granger said in the email.

The health department defines a close contact as being within 6 feet of someone for 15 minutes or longer.

Granger said any individual who tests positive for Covid-19 will not be able to return to school until the contagious period has passed.

“A person who tests positive with Covid-19, is considered contagious two days prior to symptom onset and for 10 days afterwards or two days prior to a positive test if tested when they weren’t having any symptoms and for 10 days after the date of the positive test. It can take from two to 14 days to develop symptoms after an exposure to a person contagious with Covid-19,” Granger said in the email.

He said the district’s current plans and procedures – daily screenings for symptoms, mask-wearing, hand washing and maintaining distance – are in place to help mitigate risk of others contracting the virus.

“Our protocols are strong,” Granger said. “If we get a positive case, we work closely with the health department to do the necessary contact tracing.”

Granger said there has not yet been any reported Covid-19 transmission between students and staff within public schools in the county. Granger said, for privacy reasons, the school would not provide information about how long the student who tested positive was in school when possibly contagious and if they took the bus.

The school district will remain on a hybrid-learning schedule, he said.

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