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Big Spring Middle School student tests positive for COVID-19, school district says

The school building will remain open after thorough cleaning and disinfecting. Contract tracing determined no other students were exposed, the district said.
Credit: WPMT

NEWVILLE, Pa. — A student at Big Spring Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19, the school district announced Wednesday in a message to parents and guardians.

The student was sent home from school Monday for testing "out of an abundance of caution," after displaying some symptoms of COVID-19, the district said. The student has since tested positive, according to the district.

Big Spring Middle School will remain open after all spaces visited by the student were thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, the school district said.

"After initial contact tracing, it was determined that due to the safety protocols that have been put in place with the district’s tiered opening and social distancing, no other students were exposed," the district's message said. "District staff have been in direct contact with the Pennsylvania Department of Health and are coordinating all actions in accordance with their guidance and also protocols established in the district’s Staying Open Plan."

Specifically, the district said, the following steps have been and are being taken:

  • Appropriate quarantining / isolation measures have taken place for the student to recover from the illness
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health was notified after the student’s evaluation yesterday and has been in close communication with the District from that point forward
  • The Pennsylvania Department of Health and their Epidemiology Team have assisted with initial risk assessment and contact tracing. Additional steps, as necessary, are being coordinated by the Department
  • Thorough cleaning / disinfecting has taken place in all spaces visited by the student, in addition to the heightened cleaning protocols in place for all school spaces
  • Building specific communication from Blackboard Connect and Aspen to families with students in the same building
  • District-wide posting of this communication for all families on the District website.

Big Spring School District created a document called the “Interim School Closure Decision Matrix” this summer to review such situations. The matrix was created in direct alignment with guidance from the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the school district said.

Under the plan, Big Spring outlines the current threat level in the school district as "moderate," which means the school building and the rest of the schools in the district will remain open.