A student at the Oak Ridge High School band camp last week tested positive for COVID-19 this week, Superintendent Bruce Borchers said in a letter to community members Wednesday.
The student learned of the positive test result Tuesday night. The student did not report any symptoms before learning of the diagnosis, Borchers said. But before learning of the positive test result this week, the student had been in contact with other students and staff members during band camp through Tuesday of last week, Borchers said.
The student’s positive test result this week follows a positive test result of a band camp instructor last week. Neither the student nor the instructor are being publicly identified.
Band camp was suspended Wednesday morning last week (July 15) after school officials learned of the instructor’s positive test result.
On Wednesday, Borchers said the student had been away from the building for eight days and had voluntarily contacted the appropriate medical provider for testing.
The suspension of band camp last week was to allow families time to evaluate the severity of the potential exposure, Borchers said.
On Wednesday, the superintendent said Oak Ridge Schools wanted to inform all band camp participants, both students and staff, of their potential COVID-19 exposure, regardless of how close they were to the infected student.
“You may want to contact either your personal physician or the
appropriate county health department for personal health guidance,” Borchers said.
He said band camp participants and their families who had been close to the ill student have been or will be contacted individually to inquire about their other recent contacts while participating in band camp.
“We have worked to identify the specific areas of the ORHS building (that) members of the band camp visited to allow us to implement deep cleaning of the potentially infected areas,” Borchers said Wednesday. “We are pleased to share that staff was consistent in requiring band camp participants to wear masks whenever social distancing was not possible throughout the camp.”
All areas of the high school building that might have been infected were closed for three days while the areas were stringently cleaned, Borchers said.
“Nobody was allowed to enter any closed location except for designated cleaning personnel,” Borchers said.
No area was re-opened until the Oak Ridge Schools’ administrative staff had re-evaluated the circumstances with the guidance of the school system’s newly formed Communicable Disease Team, which is comprised of leaders from the Oak Ridge Schools and the appropriate county health department, Borchers said.
“As we have functioned since the very beginning of the pandemic, the Oak Ridge School system has followed, and will continue to follow, proper protocols for this and every other similar situation, including:
- Confirming cases with the appropriate county health department;
- Quickly and transparently communicating known possible COVID-19 exposures to any potentially affected individuals and their families, as well as to the broader school and Oak Ridge communities; and
- Protecting the identity of the individual or individuals involved.
“Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are and will remain healthy and safe while we all continue to address the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Oak Ridge Schools are scheduled to start the new school year next week.