Staff member at Kernville Elementary tests positive for COVID-19

 an empty classroom
Posted at 10:26 PM, Oct 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-20 02:10:41-04

KERNVILLE, Calif. — Over the weekend Kernville Elementary received word that a staff member had tested positive for COVID-19, and after investigating possible other exposures and speaking with the public health department, the school is allowed to remain open.

On Monday Kernville Elementary announced to the community that a woman who works at the school tested positive for COVID-19.

Officials say the staff member was exposed to someone who was positive off-campus and found out four days later.

Once she found out, she immediately quarantined and got tested.

She received her results Sunday night.

"Our staff has been taking the necessary and appropriate precautions and we won't most likely see a significant spread of COVID-19 (on-campus) and I am also thrilled that no students have been directly exposed to the staff member," Randall Fieber, residential district nurse.

To their knowledge, the individual who tested positive had some slight interaction with another staff member who is also being quarantined.

One other staff member tested positive before this case but has now since recovered, and they are in constant contact with public health.

"So far we have no other exposures in our school from this particular incident and the school will not be closing unless public health recommends it," said Fieber.

Kernville Elementary has moved back to operating classes in person by slowly returning students over the last four weeks. That includes Transitional Kindergarten, K-5, First, Second, and Third as well as Kindergarten.

As of right now, they have 40 kids on campus with 14 kids in each classroom socially distanced all while doing split classes, in the morning and afternoon. Officials say if a student tests positive, they have a plan in place.

"This brings up the scenario on what happens if a child does come to school and later tests positive. Most likely just that classroom would be excluded from school to quarantine 14 days as recommended," said Fieber.

The school says it has notified all faculty and parents, and are continuing to follow strict required safety measures. They do want to remind parents if you aren't comfortable with sending your child back, there are other options.

"At any point that a parent might be nervous maybe there is an outbreak in the community that they have heard about and nervous about having their child at the school they can simply pull them out of the classroom and continue at a learning distance module. We have gotten good/better at distance learning," said Fieber.

The school also adds that they continue to clean and sanitize the classrooms, busses and restrooms regularly. And if parents or staff any further questions they contact the school nurse directly as well.