42 students and 4 staff members from O’Connor Elementary asked to quarantine

Following exposure from one COVID-positive staff member

VICTORIA, Texas- The Victoria Independent School District announced Tuesday afternoon that a student who attends Victoria East High School and a student who attends Hopkins Elementary School have tested positive for COVID-19. The district also reports that a staff member at O’Connor Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.Both students were present at their respective campuses on September 15th, 2020. The staff member at O’Connor was last present on campus on September 14th, 2020. 

To protect the privacy of all individuals the district is not releasing any personal identifying information about the students or the staff member. 

The district confirms that contact tracing has begun. If it is determined the COVID-positive individuals had any contact with students or staff, the identified students and staff will be directly notified no later than September 15, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. 

Those in close contact will remain off-campus for up to 14 days to ensure they do not have the virus and to ensure that there will be no further spread. Operations at East High School, Hopkins Elementary School, and O’Connor Elementary School will continue as usual. 

VISD Superintendent, Quintin Shepherd, told Crossroads Today that “On the evening of Monday, September 14, a staff member at O’Connor Elementary School contacted the campus principal to let her know that she tested positive for COVID-19.  The following morning, the campus nurse began the contact tracing process.  As protocol requires, the campus nurse then called the Victoria County Health Department with her contact tracing results.  After reviewing the results, the Victoria County Health Department determined that four staff members and forty-two students would need to quarantine at home. The staff members and parents of students were all contacted and told of the close contact situation and the 14-day quarantine requirement.  Letters were also mailed to all of these individuals with this information and who to contact with questions.”

A letter to O’Connor parents explains that “Currently more than 15% of our students are out due to COVID-related absences. Also, almost 7% of our staff are out for COVID-related absences. This has moved the O’Connor campus into a “moderate” alert level for monitoring. The campus would move into a “high” alert category at 20%, with consideration for closure by district administration.”

The district says they are taking steps to prevent COVID-positive individuals from entering any of the campuses by requiring that all staff screen themselves daily and visitors are required to screen upon arrival. Parents are asked to proactively report to their child’s school if their child exhibits any COVID-19 symptoms. 

VISD says that if a student does test positive the criteria that must be met before they can return to their campus includes:

Either: 

  • 24 hours with no fever; and 
  • Symptoms improved; and 
  • 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared 

Or: 

  • An acute infection test at an approved testing location that comes back negative for COVID-19

Or:

  • A doctor’s note indicating an alternate diagnosis

 

In-person classes began seven days ago on September 8th and already COVID-19 cases have been reported in staff and students on six different campuses in the district.

Teachers are instructing hybrid classes as some students are learning remotely and some are attending school in person.

Any areas accessed by the COVID-positive person, VISD explains, will be cleaned and disinfected according to CDC and TEA guidelines the district reports. 

Any of the following symptoms indicate a possible COVID-19 infection:

  • Temperature of 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit or higher when taken by mouth;
  • Sore throat;
  • New uncontrolled cough causing difficulty breathing (or, for students with a chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline);
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain; or
  • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever.

If you or any member of VISD begins to experience any of the above symptoms in a way that is not typical, contact your physician and your campus to inform the school. 

Read more on VISD’s website

You can reach O’Connor Elementary School by calling 361-788-9509. 

You can reach Hopkins Elementary School by calling 361-788-9527.

You can reach Victoria East High School by calling 361-788-2820.

 

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