Observer staff report
On Wednesday, the Champlain Valley School District announced the first cases of COVID-19 transmitted inside Williston Central School. Previous cases among students and educators have been contracted outside the school setting.
Calling the situation an “outbreak,” school administrators sent a note to community members saying two people have been infected at the school and that the situation is “identified and contained.”
The building will remain open for in-person education. A response team from the Department of Health is monitoring the school community for any other cases that could be linked to the two known cases. Monitoring will continue for 28 days.
As part of the monitoring, the school’s health and safety procedures have been reviewed.
“Through this process, we have confirmed that our procedures are aligned with the guidance from the (Health Department) and the (Agency of Education),” the letter, written by Williston Lead Principal Greg Marino and WCS Principal Jackie Parks, said.
Anyone in the school community exhibiting COVID symptoms are directed to contact their primary care physician, the Health Department and school nurse Maria Kapetanovic.
The Health Department defines a school outbreak as when there are two or more cases among students and/or staff with connections in the school building, where the illnesses have a similar start date and where there is no other more likely source of exposure. There have been outbreaks at 22 grade schools in Vermont this school year, amounting to 84 cases. On average, there are three cases per school outbreak, the Health Department reports.