Messmer Saint Mary Elementary School employee tested positive for COVID-19

MILWAUKEE -- An employee at Messmer Saint Mary Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19, school leaders learned on Tuesday, March 17. That employee was in self-quarantine -- and school leaders said the person had not been in the building since March 12.

Messmer Saint Mary Elementary School leaders said the following in a note to parents:

"Messmer administration will work to make sure families are fully informed regarding this situation and will continue to follow the guidance of the City of Milwaukee Health Department to ensure the health and well-being of all students, families, and staff.

It is critical that all of us do our part to slow the spread of this virus by refraining from touching one's face, eyes, nose, covering coughs, washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and staying home when sick with cold or flu-like symptoms."

Jim Piatt

"Obviously, we're part of a story that is evolving worldwide, and none of us are immune from that," said Jim Piatt, Messmer Catholic Schools president.

As of Thursday, March 19, officials said no families had reported illness among their children in line with COVID-19.

Even before the case was confirmed, Piatt said his maintenance staff obtained and used hospital-grade electrostatic disinfecting equipment to clean all school buildings.

"I am confident when I walk in the doors of any of our buildings that they're highly sanitized and in good shape," said Piatt.

Meanwhile, North Shore Health Department officials on Wednesday, March 18 notified residents of possible exposure to the novel coronavirus at Whitefish Bay Middle School on March 10 during the “7th Grade Game Night.”

A news release asked that people who were at this event follow the guidance outlined below to help prevent the spread of disease, noting the attendees “are at low risk of exposure to the virus.”

Those who attended this event should remain alert for symptoms such as fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, and avoid large gatherings and long-distance travel through March 24.

Health officials noted being at low risk of exposure does not require these people to self-quarantine but recommended limiting social contact, frequent hand-washing, and using a tissue when you cough or sneeze.