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Days after reopening, two Indian Trail High School students test positive for COVID-19
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Days after reopening, two Indian Trail High School students test positive for COVID-19

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Within days of the reopening of Kenosha Unified School District, two freshman at Indian Trail High School tested positive for COVID-19.

According to a statement from the district, one of the students — who has symptoms of the virus — went to school Monday, the first day of school, before staying home Tuesday.

The second student went to school both Monday and Tuesday before staying home Wednesday.

Both students are now in isolation.

Tanya Ruder, the district’s chief communication officer, said students who were in class with the two freshman or who sat close to them at lunch also are in quarantine.

As of Thursday, 119 students and eight staff members are now on a 14-day quarantine. Indian Trail has about 2,200 students. Ruder said the number of affected students is down from the 250 earlier reported as students who were already participating in virtual learning were inadvertently included in the list of those affected. They have since been removed from the list.

COVID-19 cases have been increasing in Wisconsin in recent weeks, with much of the increase associated with cases associated with returning college students. The state reported 1,408 new cases statewide Wednesday.

KUSD had initially planned to have school reopen this fall with virtual learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The School Board abruptly shifted course in mid-August, voting unanimously to reopen in-person classrooms at all district schools from kindergarten through high school. Students had the option to attend school online if they wished.

The district and the Kenosha County Division of Health are working with the school to identify people the students were in close contact with. Those people also will be required to quarantine for 14 days from the last exposure.

People considered to be in close contact, according to the district’s statement, are those who were within six feet of the students for more than 15 minutes, those who had close physical contact like a hug or handshake, or anyone who had possible contact with respiratory secretions, for example sharing a drinking glass, food or other person idioms.

Those who do not receive a phone call from the Division of Health or a contact letter from the high school were not likely to have had close contact with the students and not considered at high risk.

“We are working closely with our local health department to ensure affected staff and students quarantine as needed for the safety and well-being of all,” Superintendent Sue Savaglio-Jarvis said in formal statement. “The district is prepared for those impacted to flip to virtual learning for the duration of the required quarantine period.”

County Health Director Jen Freiheit is urging families to make sure students do not go to school if they have even minor COVID-like symptoms such as runny nose or headache.

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