AGWSR has confirmed its first case of COVID-19 in the district. The announcement came on Thursday evening, just four days into the school year. Superintendent Erik Smith said that even with many mitigation strategies in place at the school, district leaders realized they would eventually face a positive test.
“On Thursday we became aware of a positive test at the high school,” Smith said. “Administration, along with Gwen Wrich, AGWSR nurse, worked to identify those with possible exposure and contact was made directly with those individuals/families determined to have been exposed."
Smith confirmed the one positive case and said 16 other people had been exposed. The individual who tested positive is required to isolate and have improving symptoms and be without fever for 24 hours (without the use of fever-reducing medications), before they may return to school. Individuals exposed or who had close contact with the positive individual – within six feet for at least 15 minutes - will need to remain out of school for 14 days.
Both Hardin County Public Health and Grundy County Public Health were involved in providing guidance to the district.
Smith said that moving forward, he will be providing weekly updates on the number of confirmed cases, the number quarantined, and the 14-day positivity rate of all four counties in the district. At the same time, he will share updated guidance or other information that may be relevant to AGWSR families.
“We will not be sharing information with the general public each time we have a positive case in the district. However, we will continue to work with those individuals and families determined to have been in close contact with the individual testing positive,” Smith said.
In the first update, sent out to students on Friday morning, Smith included the 14-day positivity rates for each of the four counties that the AGWSR School District touches. The positivity rate is calculated by adding the total number of positive tests reported over the previous 14 days and dividing that number by the total number of tests performed in the same 14-day time span. According to state rules, for a school district to shift to virtual learning the 14-day positivity rate in its county/counties must be at least 15 percent and student absenteeism must be 10 percent. At 8 a.m. Friday, the site shows:
- Butler County: 12 percent
- Hardin County: 8.9 percent
- Franklin County: 8.2 percent
- Grundy County: 6.5 percent.
For more information about how the district will handle future positive cases, visit the AGWSR website and click on "AGWSR Return to Learn Plan."