BOYERTOWN — The Boyertown Area High School will remain closed to students until next week after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus and 20 other possible exposures were identified.
The entire district was on remote learning this week, but there was some staff in the high school building.
Staff received a text message just after noon Thursday that read "out of an abundance of caution, we're going to ask that you finish up what you're doing right now and leave the building."
"We do have a few folks in the office who are sympomatic and we just want to make sure we are doing our part to keep everyone safe," the text message read.
All students and staff will remain in remote learning until at least Dec. 11 "in an abundance of caution," according to a letter issued by Acting Superintendent Marybeth Torchia.
"Today we received confirmation of another staff positive case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Boyertown Area Senior High. This staff member was last in the building on Nov. 25. In addition to the confirmed case, today alone, we have been notified of approximately 20 additional possible exposures, symptomatic adults, sick family members, and more among our staff due to the holiday break," Torchia wrote.
"We will monitor the situation throughout the coming week and communicate with all of you again on Thursday, Dec. 10," Torchia wrote to parents, students and staff.
"As outlined in our Health and Safety Plan, we are working with the Department of Health to determine if there are any close contacts associated with this case," Torchia wrote.
"A 'close contact' is defined as an individual who was within six feet of an infectious person for at least 15 minutes or who was directly exposed to respiratory secretions (e.g., cough or sneeze). We are also in contact with the other employees mentioned above and are following their status very closely," wrote Torchia.
According to the school district's COVID-19 "dashboard," of the districts 4,453 students who returned to class for part-time in-person instruction, there have been 12 cases of COVID-19 cases identified since Aug 31. That's a .27 percent positivity rate.
The dashboard indicates that of the approximately 1,000 employees, eight cases have been identified since Aug. 31. There have been no "confirmed transmissions" within the school buildings.