Muscatine Community School district officials made the decision Oct. 16 to quarantine a class of McKinley students after one student tested positive for COVID-19. Though contact tracing indicated the student contracted the illness outside of school, the district cited inconsistent mask wearing in the classroom led to the decision. The District’s full message to families and staff follows below:
We received notification that a McKinley Elementary School student has tested positive for COVID-19.
The decision was made to quarantine the students in the class because face masks were not being worn consistently. The affected class will go to remote learning for the duration of two weeks. To clear up any concerns, in all other positive cases thus far there has NOT been a need to quarantine a class. This recent positive case at McKinley was NOT contracted from inside the building. This particular classroom will be thoroughly deep cleaned in addition to the district’s COVID-19 cleaning guidelines.
While we must protect the privacy of the person involved, we believe it is best to communicate transparently with you. Our procedure is to contact any parents of students who may be in close contact with the positive individual before this letter is sent out.
All classes (besides the classroom impacted) will continue as usual, school will remain in-person. The decision to go strictly virtual would only happen if the Muscatine County positivity rate exceeds 15%, if absenteeism hits 10% and permission is granted from the Department of Education. To learn more click here to monitor the Muscatine County Positive COVID chart via our Return to Learn website. Precautions have been taken for these individuals to ensure the safety of the school and district. In addition, we have consulted with the Muscatine County Public Health Department to ensure that this is the safest route in managing this specific case and managing the spread of this communicable disease.
We will also continue to follow all COVID-related safety procedures including requiring masks if social distancing cannot be maintained. Our custodial staff will continue to deep clean and sanitize classrooms and high touch areas each evening.
As a reminder, COVID-19 is transmitted through person-to-person contact and through the exchange of respiratory droplets. Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. (For a complete list of symptoms, visit CDC Coronavirus Symptoms.) If you or any member of your family exhibit these symptoms, please contact your medical provider for advice immediately. Symptoms usually appear 2-14 days after exposure. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 click here to view.
We are grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family, especially as we face this challenging situation together. We continue to ask for your support of McKinley Elementary School and the Muscatine Community School District by stressing the importance of the COVID-19 mitigation procedures in place so that we may keep our students and staff safe.
Gretchen Price, Principal & Clint Christopher, Superintendent
This story originally appeared on the Voice of Muscatine. Read More local stories here.