KENOSHA, Wis. - Two freshmen at Indian Trail High School and Academy tested positive for COVID-19, the Kenosha Unified School District and the Kenosha County Division of Health announced jointly Wednesday, Sept. 16. They're the first confirmed cases in the district since students returned to in-person and virtual learning Monday, Sept. 14.
According to a statement from a KUSD spokeswoman, one of the individuals in question went to school Monday but has stayed home since Tuesday when symptoms first appeared. The other was at school both Monday and Tuesday and stayed at home Wednesday.
Another 250 students and eight staff members have been quarantined.
These individuals are now in isolation for 10 days, per Wisconsin Department of Health Services and Kenosha County Division of Health recommendations, the statement noted. Classroomwide quarantines are being limited to the rooms where these individuals had classes.
In the meantime, health officials are working with the school to assist in identifying and reaching close contacts of this individual. These contacts will also be required to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure.
The statement noted close contacts include those who:
- Had direct physical contact with the infected individuals (e.g. a hug or handshake).
- Were within six feet of the COVID-19-positive individuals for more than 15 minutes.
- Had contact with respiratory secretions from the infected individuals (e.g. were coughed/sneezed on, had contact with dirty tissue, or shared a drinking glass, food or towels or other personal items).
Those who do not receive a phone call from the Division of Health or a close contact letter from ITHSA were likely not in contact with the COVID-19-positive individuals and are therefore not considered to be in a higher-risk group, the statement added.
Indian Trail High School
"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," said Superintendent Dr. Sue Savaglio-Jarvis in the statement. "This important safety measure is in place to prevent further spread of infection by those who were in close contact with the COVID-19-positive individuals. In addition, enhanced cleaning of affected areas has occurred. The district is prepared for those impacted to flip to virtual learning for the duration of the required quarantine period.”
“It’s important to remember that COVID-19 cannot be transmitted by simply passing an infected person in the hallway,” said Kenosha County Health Director Dr. Jen Freiheit in the statement. “That’s not a close contact. Only those close contacts within classrooms or elsewhere will receive a close-contact quarantine letter."
The KUSD spokeswoman asked that parents please monitor their students and other family members for any COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, headaches, etc. Those who do become symptomatic should call their health care provider.
Dr. Freiheit said parents should not send students to school even with minor symptoms such as a persistent headache, runny nose or cough.
In this case and others, those who find out they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for virus should call their health care provider and seek testing.
A frequently updated list of testing sites in and around Kenosha County is available here.