Oak Ridge Schools on Tuesday announced a third COVID-19 case as schools prepare to resume this week.
A staff member at Jefferson Middle School has tested positive for the new disease, Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent Bruce Borchers said in a letter to families and staff members.
The staff member, who will not be publicly identified, took a precautionary test, immediately started a voluntary quarantine, and learned of the positive test result Tuesday morning, Borchers said.
The superintendent’s letter did not say whether the staff member has had symptoms of COVID-19.
Oak Ridge Schools are scheduled to start the new school year on Wednesday and Thursday.
Borchers said all staff members and their families who were known to have been close to the infected staff member at JMS have been contacted. They have been asked about who else they may have been in contact with recently and to identify the specific areas of the middle school building they might have visited. All areas of the JMS building that could have been infected have been stringently cleaned since the potential exposure, Borchers said.
Including an April case, it’s the fourth case of COVID-19 at Oak Ridge Schools. The April case involved a staff member who had been volunteering at the Oak Ridge Schools’ food distribution sites.
On Tuesday, Borchers said administrators evaluate cases with guidance from the school system’s newly formed Communicable Disease Team, which has leaders from Oak Ridge Schools and the appropriate county health
The school system will follow proper protocols, Borchers said. They include confirming cases with the appropriate county health department; quickly and transparently communicating known possible COVID-19 exposures to any potentially affected people and their families, as well as to the broader school and Oak Ridge communities; and protecting the identity of the person or people involved, Borchers said.
“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,” Borchers said.