Grants Pass High School reports COVID-19 case at summer program

School officials would not say if the individual was a student or staff member, but notified families that may have been connected to the case.

Posted: Aug 14, 2020 5:09 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Grants Pass High School on notified at least some families on Wednesday that someone participating in a summer program tested positive for coronavirus.

School officials would not say if the individual was a student or staff member, but indicated that the person participated in a program that included 6 to 10 students or staff members on a given day. GPHS learned of the case and sent out its notice on the same day.

GPHS also would not identify the program in question, but said that it has been moved fully online for the remainder of the summer.

"Due to privacy requirements, we cannot release the name of the individual or details that may identify him or her, but the information has been provided to the Josephine County Public Health Department," GPHS said in its letter to parents. "The location is being cleaned and disinfected. Common areas (bathrooms, breakrooms, etc.), and high touch surfaces are also being cleaned and disinfected."

The person who tested positive will be self-isolating for a period of time based on several conditions — at least 10 days since the first symptoms appeared, no fever for 72 hours without fever-reducing medications, and until other symptoms have improved.

"The Josephine County Public Health Department will lead the contact investigation," GPHS said. "Individuals identified as close contacts will be contacted by Josephine County Public Health. If an individual is not contacted by the Josephine County Public Health Department, the individual was not considered to be a close contact."

The CDC defines a close contact as anyone who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes.

School officials said that the Grants Pass School District tentatively plans for students in grades K-3 to return with in-person classes, while grades 4-12 begin the year with comprehensive distance learning due to current state and county metrics.

"We are carefully watching the new case rate for Josephine County and will adapt our plans accordingly," said Sherry Ely, Chief Finance & Operations Officer for Grants Pass School District.

In July, some students and a teacher at McLoughlin Middle School in Medford were told to self-isolate due to possible COVID-19 exposure, but administrators decided to let the summer school program continue in person.

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