By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
NEWKIRK — A Newkirk Public School (NPS) staff member is on quarantine for 14 days following a positive test of COVID-19 last weekend.
Superintendent Scott Kempenich was notified about the case last Saturday morning, Aug. 23.
“Someone they were with tested positive, so they got tested as well, and tested positive,” he said, adding that the symptoms were minor.
School officials opted to keep the school open, as the staff member had little student interaction through most of the day.
“This position was one that was unique because the individual doesn’t have a position where they are around kids all day,” Kempenich said. “That position is isolated most of the day, so we didn’t have to do any contact tracing or send people home.”
School officials are working closely with the Kay County Health Department (KCHD) in the case, should another positive test arise.
“We’re working with the local health department through the process. The KCHD has been working really well with us,” he said.
NPS already has a COVID-19 plan in effect, should there be more cases of the disease at the school, which includes a combination of virtual and classroom learning, but felt this particular case didn’t apply to the plan.
“The policies we have in place really helped with not having to send anyone home. We followed protocols, and worked with the health department,” Kempenich said. “If nothing else, this helped us prepare for what might come down the road.”