Arcadia Middle School Staff Member Tests Positive for COVID-19

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By Connie Morrison —

Arcadia Middle School building is closed to staff and students from Oct. 27 through Nov. 9 “for proper sanitization procedures,” according to message posted to the school’s Facebook pagee. “All students should check their email accounts today for further information and letters will be sent home from school administration,” the message continues.

Accomack County Public Schools Superintendent Chris Holland confirmed Monday afternoon, Oct. 26, that a staff member at Arcadia Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19.

Holland said that upon learning of the COVID-19 case, the school division followed its COVID-19 protocol and contacted the health department. He declined to say whether the case affected a classroom or a larger area of the school. “School will be open tomorrow,” was all he would say.

By Monday night messages were circulating on Facebook about a possible closure and the message was posted to the Arcadia Middle School Facebook page Tuesday morning.

Holland said a letter was sent to affected parties at 2:30 p.m. Monday, but refused to provide a copy of the letter to the Post. “I’m not going to give my letters out,” he said. “That letter only went out to certain people.”

The school division’s Phase III COVID-19 Health Mitigation Plan details protocol for communicating when positive cases are detected in schools:

  • School Health Coordinator or superintendent designee will coordinate with our local health department.
    – Once learning of a COVID-19 case in someone who has been in the school, immediately notify our local health department.
    – The local health department will guide ACPS to determine a course of action for ACPS.
  • Principal or principal’s designee will communicate with staff, parents, and students.
    – Announcements can be made in multiple ways to include but not be limited to using at least one web-based, one hard copy and one “other” mode.
    – ACPS will maintain confidentiality of the student or staff member as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Family Education Rights and Privacy Act.
  • Superintendent will draft a letter to staff, parents, and the community.
  • Superintendent’s letter will be sent home with students along with a COVID-19 Fact Sheet.
  • At the superintendent’s discretion emails and/or robocalls will be sent to parents alerting them to the information.
  • Decisions about school reduced class size or school closure will be made by the school system or by the Governor.
  • Follow up information will be sent to keep staff, students, parents, and the community informed as the situation progresses, presenting information using at least one web-based, one hard copy, and one “other” mode.
  • Identify school translators and/or community members who are fluent in the language/dialects of our ESL students to help translate or to proof-read our translated documents.

The full mitigation plan can be found at:

https://www.accomack.k12.va.us/ourpages/auto/2020/8/3/4300994/Accomack%20County%20Mitigation%20Health%20Plan%202020-2021.pdf

** This article has been updated since its original publication to include the closure from Oct. 27 untill Nov. 9.