Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) is currently investigating an outbreak of COVID-19 associated with Fayette Christian School in Washington Court House. To date, 7 staff members and 2 students have tested positive with more tests pending. FCPH staff is currently conducting contact tracing for the cases that have been identified.
According to Deputy Health Commissioner Leigh Cannon, MPH, “The school had already closed as of Monday, September 29, 2020, and will remain closed until cleared by FCPH. We are contacting all students and staff to instruct them of the quarantine process. Unfortunately, we are encountering difficulties with contact tracing due to the nature of the classroom setting, combining of grades, and close contact within the building.
Individuals who have been identified as a confirmed or probable positive case of COVID-19 are isolated per the protocol established by the CDC. Close contacts with known exposure to a case of COVID-19 are asked to quarantine for 14 days. A close contact is a person who was within 6 feet of someone who has confirmed or suspected COVID-19 for a cumulative total of 15 minutes, starting from 2 days before illness onset until the time the patient is isolated.
Cannon said “The sooner we can identify and notify those who may have been exposed, the sooner we can stop the spread. If you are a close contact and begin showing symptoms of COVID-19 we ask that you consult with your primary care physician or go to the nearest urgent care for evaluation and testing. Our office is available to answer questions as well.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a person with COVID-19 can experience a range of symptoms from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus and include fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, and diarrhea
Call 911 or seek emergency medical care immediately if you are experiencing the following: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, bluish lips or face.
The administration at Fayette Christian School released information to parents regarding the steps that they are taking. The school will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected and will not resume in-person classes until authorized or as directed by FCPH. Prior to this case of COVID-19, the school had put into place protocols for social distancing, regular disinfecting of high touch surfaces, mask use and temperature screening when staff and students arrived each day. Parents have also been notified of the outbreak and school administrators ask that all persons cooperate fully with FCPH efforts at contact tracing.
“We have seen first-hand this week how quickly this virus can spread in a short amount of time. Please continue to practice good hand hygiene, wear a mask while in public spaces, social distance whenever possible and also keep long term- exposure with non-household members to a minimum” Cannon said.
“Please don’t hesitate to call us if you have any questions. We are here to help,” Cannon said. She encouraged anyone with questions to visit faycohd.org, coronavirus.ohio.gov, or to call the health department at 740-335-5910.