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School district issues warning of potential COVID-19 exposure

Coronavirus

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EastIdahoNews.com file photo

POCATELLO — Students participating in a summer high school athletic program in Pocatello may have been exposed to COVID-19.

In a letter sent to parents of Highland High School students, Pocatello Chubbuck School District 25 said a member of the school’s athletic staff participating in the program tested positive to COVID-19 and others may be infected.

The district reports that student-athletes and coaches may have been exposed to the novel coronavirus Thursday, Friday and Monday. The staff member reportedly tested positive on Thursday.

“At this time, we are taking immediate measures to close down and thoroughly disinfect and sanitize the impacted areas,” the letter reads. “As a further preventative measure, we have also taken steps to cancel activities or events scheduled that involve Highland athletes through the weekend.”

READ MORE ABOUT CORONAVIRUS IN EASTERN IDAHO HERE

The district reports working with Southeastern Idaho Public Health as soon as they learned about the positive test.

SIPH spokeswoman Tracy McCulloch told EastIdahoNews.com that as soon as District 25 notified them of the positive test Thursday morning, officials began contact tracing.

The infected staff member is from Bannock County and did not need to be hospitalized, McCulloch said. The person is recovering at home.

As of Wednesday, there were a total of 81 positive and 13 probable cases in Bannock County. Four people were hospitalized and 63 people are presumed to have recovered. The test of the athletic staff member is not yet included in the total numbers.

A case is considered probable if a person has not been tested, or a test is pending, and the person has all the symptoms of COVID-19, has come into direct contact with an infected person and developed symptoms within the expected timeframe.

In Bannock County, one 65-year-old man died of COVID-19 after being admitted to the ICU at Portneuf Medical Center.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19, local health officials recommend people follow COVID-19 risk-reduction strategies:

  • Staying home if sick.
  • Practicing self-distancing (maintaining at least 6 feet between individuals).
  • Wearing a fabric face covering or mask when in public settings where other social
    distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
  • Covering your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or our sleeve.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer.
    Limiting close contact with people who are sick.

As a precautionary measure, District 25 asked students and parents to monitor themselves for COVID-19 symptoms and limit interactions with others.

The decision on how the district will move forward with their athletic programs will be discussed on Monday, according to the letter.

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