Oak Ridge Schools staff member tests positive for COVID-19

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) — Officials with Oak Ridge Schools said Tuesday that a staff member at Jefferson Middle School had tested positive for COVID-19.

Oak Ridge Schools are scheduled to start the new academic year on Wednesday.

Oak Ridge Schools said the involved individual took a precautionary test, immediately implemented a voluntary quarantine, and received a positive test result Tuesday morning.

Along with the positive case confirmation, Oak Ridge Schools released the following information:

“In an effort to mitigate the impact of this development we have taken the following steps:

  1. All staff members (and their families) who were identified as having been within close
    proximity to the ill staff member have been individually contacted to inquire about who
    else they may have had recent contact with and to identify the specific areas of the JMS
    building they visited.
  2. We are advising staff members who believe they have come into close contact with an
    individual who has received a positive test for COVID-19 to talk to Mr. Cox or Mrs.
    Laurendine. For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as any individual who was within
    6 feet of an infected person for 10 minutes or longer starting from 2 days before onset
    (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time
    the patient is isolated.
  3. All areas of the JMS building identified as having been potentially infected have been
    stringently cleaned since the time of the potential exposure.
  4. The ORS administrative staff has reevaluated these circumstances with the guidance of
    the school system’s newly formed Communicable Disease Team (CDT) which is
    composed of leaders from the Oak Ridge Schools and the appropriate County Health
    Department.
    As we have functioned since the very beginning of the pandemic, the Oak Ridge School system
    has followed, and will continue to follow, proper protocols for this and every other similar
    situation, including:
    • Confirming cases with the appropriate County Health Department;
    • Quickly and transparently communicating known possible COVID-19 exposures to any
    potentially affected individuals and their families, as well as to the broader school and
    Oak Ridge communities; and
    • Protecting the identity of the individual or individuals involved.

“Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are and will remain healthy and safe while we all continue to address the challenges of the COVID–19 pandemic.”

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