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School District confirms suspected COVID-19 exposure at elementary school

By Jeri Chadwell
Washoe County School District administration building. Image: Carla O'Day.

On Monday, This Is Reno received tips from Washoe County School District teachers alleging that there was an outbreak of COVID-19 among the staff at Reno’s Grace Warner Elementary School. The tips alleged that all office staff and two teachers from the school were directed to self-isolate until Aug. 19.

This Is Reno reached out to school district Public Information Officer Victoria Campbell to learn more. At 6:30 p.m., the WCSD released the following statement confirming a “suspected positive case” of the coronavirus and indicating that the elementary school will still reopen on Monday, Aug. 17:

“The Washoe County School District received word today of a suspected positive case of COVID-19 at Grace Warner Elementary School.

Out of an abundance of caution and due to possible exposure, eight individuals have been asked by WCSD Student Health Services to self-isolate at home per Washoe County Health District and Centers for Disease Control (CDC) protocol. All other staff members at Grace Warner have been informed of the situation. WCSD is following appropriate procedures as required by the Washoe County Health District and has been in close contact with the Washoe County Health District throughout this process.

The school was appropriately cleaned and is ready to welcome students to the building Monday morning.

As a reminder to the community, in response to suspected COVID-19 cases, the Washoe County School District will be taking proactive action and excluding some employees and students from the building before a confirmation of a positive case is provided.

Grace Warner followed the previously established protocol, which worked seamlessly and effectively.  WCSD is excited and eager to see our students on Monday.”

This Is Reno reached out to Campbell after the press release was issued to learn how long the eight staff members will be asked to quarantine, as the alleged date of Aug. 19 may not fall in line with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations that those who’ve potentially been exposed to COVID-19 isolate for two full weeks.

This information was not available at the time, according to Campbell. This story will be updated when this information is provided to This Is Reno.

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