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Full-time remote Upshur student tests positive for COVID-19; School system asks families to be mindful of others’ privacy

Editor’s note: The following is an Oct. 1, 2020 update from Upshur County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sara Lewis Stankus.

Upshur County Schools would again like to thank our families for their patience and understanding as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Our district still has one positive-confirmed case at a school, and this case was the one reported on Tuesday at Buckhannon-Academy Elementary School.

We have been notified that one other student has tested positive; that student is a full-time remote student and has never been present in any of our school facilities at any point during the 2020-2021 school year.

We wish both of these students a speedy recovery.

Upshur County Schools strives to share timely information with its families, and we realize that families need certain information to make good decisions for their children. This applies to not only the COVID-19 pandemic, but all situations that impact our schools. As a public-school district, we have a responsibility to keep families informed, but we have an equal responsibility to protect the confidential personal health information of our students and staff.

Generally, it is our policy to not divulge details that could lead to easy identification of affected individuals. Such information includes student and teacher names, grade levels, bus schedules and numbers, etc. We strongly encourage our families to be considerate of others when they share information about school situations online.

However, relevant information that ensures the health and safety of directly impacted individuals will always be made available to those individuals. For example, during this pandemic, if public health authorities determine any student or staff member to be a probable close contact of a positive-confirmed case, they or their family will be contacted by the health department.

Moving forward, we would like to remind our families that everyone has a role to play in slowing the spread in Upshur County. Local public health officials have noted that patients with a variety of symptoms, including those associated with other strains of flu, have tested positive for COVID-19. If any of our students feel ill when they wake up in the morning, we ask that they remain at home. If they develop symptoms while at school, we ask that they notify their teacher and arrange to go home as quickly as possible.

We will continue to disinfect and deep clean all areas of our schools as well as to ensure the proper use of face coverings and adherence to physical distancing.

Again, thank you, Upshur County. We are in this together, and we remain #UpshurStrong.

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