Student tests positive for COVID-19

Student tests positive for COVID-19
Posted on 10/07/2020

The following letter was sent to Tahoma families on Wednesday, Oct. 7:

As promised, we continue to be timely and transparent in our communication regarding the impacts of COVID-19 in our school community.

We’re writing this evening to let you know that we have been notified about the first positive COVID-19 test result for a student currently attending a Tahoma School District program, the Extended Enrichment Program at Glacier Park Elementary School. We have notified officials with Public Health -- Seattle & King County, and are following their protocols and procedures to keep staff and students safe. Specifically:

  • Notifying known close contacts among staff and student families.
  • Notifying staff and student families who attended or worked at the same facility but did not have close contact with the student who received a positive test result.
  • Sharing information with close contacts and those staff and students potentially exposed about symptoms, testing and other general COVID-19 information.
  • Closing two classrooms and doing additional cleaning and disinfecting of the EEP spaces at Glacier Park. These areas are cleaned daily but will receive additional cleaning, including the use of the district’s new electrostatic disinfectant sprayers.

When a student or staff member receives a positive COVID-19 test we will continue to notify close contacts and others who might have had contact with that person. Broader notification will be made on a case-by-case basis. Here is information from Public Health -- Seattle and King County about COVID-19 exposure:

What are the common symptoms of COVID-19?

Most coronavirus illnesses are mild with fever and cough. Adults and children with COVID-19 have reported the following symptoms or combinations of symptoms. These may appear 2 – 14 days after exposure to the virus:

  • Fever of 100.4°F or 38°C or higher
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Other signs of new illness that are unrelated to a preexisting condition (such as seasonal allergies)

 This list does not include all possible symptoms. Please talk to your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you. Children with COVID-19 usually have milder symptoms. To learn more about COVID-19 symptoms, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html).

 How is COVID-19 spread?

COVID-19 is thought to spread mainly through close contact from person-to-person. The virus may be spread by people who are sick and also by people who are not showing symptoms.

 The virus that causes COVID-19 spreads very easily between people in the following ways:

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another. Close contact means being within 6 feet (2 meters) of someone with COVID-19 for about 15 minutes.
  • When an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks close to other people. Droplets can enter the mouths or noses of people nearby or be inhaled into their lungs.
  • Some people who never have symptoms can also spread the virus.

 COVID-19 may also be spread when a person touches a surface that has the virus on it and then touches their own mouth, eyes, or nose. This is not thought to be the main way this virus is spreading.

 Health experts are still learning more about how COVID-19 spreads and the severity of illness COVID-19 causes.

How can I protect myself and my family from COVID-19?

Currently, there are no vaccines available to prevent COVID-19 infections.

 The best ways to protect yourself and your family are to:

  • Stay home as much as possible. Minimize contact with people who do not live with you. Work from home when possible.
  • When outside your home, practice physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
  • Avoid group gatherings and poorly ventilated areas.
  • Wear a cloth face covering that covers your nose and mouth when you are in a public place, including outdoors if you cannot stay at least 6 feet (2 meters) away from others.
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or greater). Do not use sanitizer on children under age two.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick. Stay home when you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
  • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Clean frequently touched surfaces and objects (like doorknobs and light switches). Regular use of EPA-registered household disinfectants is recommended.
  • Check CDC’s Travel Alerts and tips for COVID-19 at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/ if you or your family are traveling within the United States or overseas.

 What should I do if someone in my family develops symptoms of COVID-19 or has confirmed COVID-19?

  • Anyone who is sick should stay home.
  •  If you or someone in your family has symptoms of COVID-19, call your medical provider to get tested or go to a free testing site (www.kingcounty.gov/covid/testing).
  • Anyone who develops symptoms or has confirmed COVID-19 should remain at home and away from others. Learn more at www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/care
  • Tell your school if you or someone in your household tests positive for COVID-19.

How is COVID-19 treated?

There are no medications specifically approved for COVID-19. Most people with mild COVID-19 will get better on their own. Drink plenty of fluids, rest, and take pain and fever-reducing medications. However, some people may get pneumonia and will need medical care or hospitalization.

How do I find a COVID-19 testing location nearby?

  • For a list of locations that provide free COVID-19 testing, regardless of immigration or insurance status, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/covid/testing.
  • Call King County’s COVID-19 Call Center between 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. at 206-477-3977. They can help you find a testing site. Interpreters are available.
  • For more information about what to do if you have confirmed COVID-19 or are worried that you may have COVID-19, visit: www.kingcounty.gov/depts/health/covid-19/care

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