Notice of Positive COVID-19 Case at Knox County Middle, possible exposure at school and on buses

The Knox County Health Department notified the Knox County Public Schools on Friday, October 2, of a positive COVID-19 test result from a student at Knox County Middle School. The student would have been on Girdler Elementary bus 4006 and on bus 114 to Knox County Middle from Girdler this week.

Per the district’s established protocol, we are working closely with the health department to identify students and staff that would have had direct exposure to the student.  Direct exposure is defined as being in contact with a positive case for longer than 10 minutes at a distance of six feet or less.

The seating charts both at Knox County Middle and on the two buses are being analyzed by the health department.  Knox County Middle has been using a teacher rotation approach to learning at school with students remaining in the same classroom with their team and their core teachers rotating in and out of each room. Students are also socially distanced over six feet in the school cafeteria.  On our buses, seating charts show that sibling groups are seated together and that social distancing is in place.  Students are required to wear masks at all times on the bus.

A precautionary letter was sent home this afternoon by students that were in the same classroom or were on the same bus as the student that tested positive. The letter explains the symptoms of COVID-19 and reminds students of the importance of masks, hand washing, and social distancing. The letter does not mean that the student has been exposed to COVID-19.  Through contact tracing and the information that we have provided, the Knox County Health Department will notify any students that will need to quarantine.

The individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to return to school until their quarantine is over.  If any student(s) had prolonged exposure to the student with the positive result, they will not return to school until their quarantine is over.  That information will be communicated directly from the Knox County Health Department.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the regular seasonal influenza and include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. Some have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, lack of appetite, loss of smell and taste, diarrhea, headache and body aches.

If these symptoms develop, please self-isolate your child, make contact with the health department, then have a COVID-19 test performed. If you have additional questions or concerns, please contact the Knox County Health Department at 606-277-2135.

We encourage our entire community to follow the recommended public health guidelines of wearing a mask, frequent hand washing or hand sanitizer, and maintaining a social distance whenever possible.  Working together, we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 in Knox County.