CHARLES TOWN — A Washington High School teacher has tested positive for COVID-19, the first case of a Jefferson County Schools staff member contracting the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Letters from Washington High Principal Judy Marcus were sent Monday notifying parents of students and faculty about the teacher’s infection.

“You will be notified by [the health department] if your child is required to be quarantined,” Marcus wrote.

  The county school system’s coronavirus safety policies bar any student or staff member may have been directly exposed to COVID-19 from returning to school without receiving a negative COVID-19 test, without permission from a physician or without a quarantine for at least 14 days.  

Any student or school staff member with COVID-19 must stay home until the Jefferson County health department lifts the quarantine, according to Marcus.  

“You are receiving this notice because a staff person who has had contact with your child’s class at Washington High School has been identified as COVID-19 positive,” Marcus wrote. “This letter DOES NOT indicate that you or your family are at risk.”

School and health officials declined to disclose how many students might have to be tested or quarantined. Hans Fogle, the school system’s public information officer, wrote in an email that privacy concerns hindered school officials from releasing more information.

Dr. Terrence Reidy, the county health department’s health officer, and did not immediately respond to requests for information on Tuesday.

The symptoms of COVID-19 can include fever, coughing and shortness of breath. Some people infected with the coronavirus have reported additional symptoms, such as a runny nose, sore throat, nausea, lethargy, lack of appetite, vomiting and diarrhea.


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