Greene County schools meet outbreak with mandatory masks

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Photo courtesy Greene County News Online

JEFFERSON, Iowa — Greene County Community School District Superintendent Tim Christensen announced Wednesday evening that more than one student or staff person have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in the Greene County Elementary and Middle schools.

According to a school post on social media, the district has worked with the Greene County Public Health Department to complete contact tracing.

Parents and guardians of students considered to be “exposed” — loser than 6 feet to the positive person for longer than 15 continuous minutes — have been or will be contacted. Those students will need to be quarantined for 14 days and use remote learning.

“Please understand that we must protect the privacy of all Greene County Schools students and staff and we cannot share further details,” the district post said. “We will remain in contact with the individuals to provide our support and ensure they are not contagious before returning to school/work.”

Students in both the elementary and middle schools are now required to wear face masks at all times in both buildings until further notice. Students who decide not to wear a mask will be required to move to remote learning.

At the Greene County School Board meeting Wednesday evening, Christensen briefed the board on the situation, noting that teachers are considered “essential” employees and will remain in the classroom unless they are symptomatic. They will have frequent temperature screening and take extra precautions, he said.

Paton-Churdan Community School District Superintendent Kregg Lensch also announced Wednesday that a P-C staff member tested positive for the virus that cause COVID-19. Contact tracing has been completed with the assistance of the Greene County Public Health Department, Lensch said.

Victoria Riley is the editor and publisher of the Greene County News Online.

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