Two people in the Juneau School District have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting quarantining and testing of exposed groups, including boys on the high school basketball teams, City and Borough of Juneau announced.
One person at Auke Bay Elementary and one person at Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé have confirmed cases, the city said Thursday in a news release.
“School classes are continuing as scheduled. Those teams are not practicing,” said Juneau School District chief of staff Kristin Bartlett in a phone interview. “Students will participate in online instruction this week.”
The district has guidelines in place that they’re utilizing to rapidly isolate and deny possible outbreaks, Bartlett said. In this case, it means that all boys basketball players and one class of students at Auke Bay Elementary will remain quarantined until a negative test is confirmed, Bartlett said.
“The individual who tested positive at JDHS participated in the January 29-30 Boys Basketball series between JDHS and Thunder Mountain High School that took place at TMHS,” the city said in the release. “Due to possible exposure at that event, all teams involved – JDHS junior varsity and varsity boys basketball teams, and TMHS junior varsity and varsity boys basketball teams – are quarantining and will test for COVID-19.”
In-person instruction has not been interrupted at any schools for students who weren’t identified by contact tracers as possibly contaminated, Bartlett said. There aren’t the first confirmed cases since the return to schools, with three in January, but having two in the first few days of February does appear to be an upward trend.
“We have increased the number of people in the schools. This is a difficult disease in that a lot of times people are asymptomatic,” Bartlett said. “They don’t know they’re infected when they’re present in class or participating in activities.”
All people identified as having possible exposure will be tested at the Capital City Fire/Rescue testing site after a period of quarantining to ensure best accuracy in accordance with Public Health’s best practices, Bartlett said.
January saw two cases at JDHS and one case at Riverbend Elementary School, Bartlett said. None of these cases spread in the schools themselves, a precedent the school district intends to continue, Bartlett said.
“Stay home if you develop symptoms or if you’re awaiting a test,” Bartlett said. “If you have any contact with someone with a confirmed case, stay home. Wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 6 feet apart.”
Several other cases were reported on Thursday, including a new case at Wildflower Court, bringing the total number of cases associated with the bloom in the extended living facility to 11, with three recovered, according to the city.
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or email@example.com.