Pendleton County Schools has its first positive Covid-19 case


Daycare center shuts down with nine cases


    As people returned to more and more of their daily lives, one thing was almost a sure thing. There was going to be a positive Covid-19 case whether it was at their work, church, family gathering or social event. It is not something that can be avoided as people begin to learn how to live in a Covid-19 world.
    Pendleton County School District has been informed by a staff member that the individual has tested positive for the Covid-19 virus.
    Superintendent Joe Buerkley was pleased with the staff’s efforts and the district’s response to the first case but cautioned that this will “not [be] the last time we will be dealing with this.”
    The staff member has been cooperating with the school district and health department. HIPPA guidelines prevent the district from identifying the individual.
    “Contact tracing along with cleaning the facilities have already been started and we are following the protocols put in place,” said Buerkley.
    Three Rivers District Health Department Director Dr. Georgia Heise said, “Pendleton County Schools are doing great and we have worked well together  with Mr. Buerkley and Matt Compton before school started and through this first case.”
    She added, “I think this one case has been taken care of but I feel there will be others.”
    There are also three Pendleton County students who have tested positive but are not involved in any school-related in-person activities at this time.
    She also indicated that nine cases were announced on Saturday and are all in one day care center who has closed for two weeks.
    She indicated it was a mixture of staff and kids who have tested positive in the day care. There was a single positive case which led to the testing of the everyone else.
    “The day care center has been very forthcoming and engaged with the cases,” she added.
    Dr. Brian Schack announced on his Facebook page that there are 20 active cases in Pendleton County while Dr. Heise indicated none were hospitalized.As of Saturday, Three Rivers was reporting 77 total cases in Pendleton County since March recently including a 12-week-old female.
    For Pendleton County Schools, cleaning is more than just running a broom down the hallway. He indicated that the particular area where the staff member was working was isolated. The high touch areas were wiped down with cleaning materials that kill germs. Afterwards, the areas were sanitized. Lastly, a chemical   spray   was   used   in  the isolated area which settles and helps clean the area, Buerkley emphatically stated.
    Buerkley pointed out that the latest face mask guidelines for schools   require everyone to wear a face mask the entire time they are in the buildings, also, helps to “lessen the exposure to other staff members.”
    “We are prepared for a positive case but happy to see the protocols in place working,” said Buerkley. “I have to applaud the staff on following the guidelines and protocols.”
    The hard question with the first case is does it affect the decision to return to in-person classes at the end of the first quarter in mid-October.
    Buerkley indicated it has not while reemphazigin they followed all the proper protocals that would protect against a large spread from a case in the school district.