As first reported by our partners at Oak Ridge Today, a student at the Oak Ridge High School band camp earlier this month tested positive for COVID-19 last week. Superintendent Bruce Borchers made that announcement in a letter to community members Wednesday.
The student learned of the positive test result Tuesday night (July 21st), and did not report any symptoms before learning of the diagnosis. In his letter to parents and students, Borchers said that, before learning of the positive test result this week, the student had been in contact with other students and staff members during band camp, which was suspended on July 15th after a band instructor tested positive for COVID-19.
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.
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.
Since learning of the student’s positive test, officials say that crews have been working to identify the specific areas of the ORHS building (that) members of the band camp visited to allow for the deep cleaning of the potentially infected areas, Borchers said Wednesday, adding, “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. 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.
Oak Ridge Schools are scheduled to start the new school year later this week.
For more on this story and more on how the school system is addressing a return to class during a pandemic, check out www.oakridgetoday.com.