Wilmot UHS closing for 14 days after additional COVID-19 positives

Additional COVID-19 tests at Wilmot Uion High Schools have prompted the school to close for in-person instruction for 14 days starting Friday.

The school first reported a COVID-19 positive Sept. 18, but did not close at that time.

That most recent positives bring the school’s total number of students with confirmed cases of the virus to three; two staff members have also tested positive.

The decision to close for two weeks was announced Thursday by the school district and the Kenosha County Division of Health.

Those who have been identified as close contacts with the infected individuals will receive a quarantine letter from the Wilmot Union High School District.

The school will transition to a temporary, all-virtual instruction model effective Friday, Sept. 25, with in-person instruction scheduled to return Oct. 9.

In a news release, district administrator Dan Kopp said the shutdown is being conducted as a precaution, and because the number of staff now on quarantine would not allow all classes to be staffed in the coming days.

“It is never easy to make the decision to shut down in-person learning; however, it is with everyone’s best interest in mind that this decision was made,” Kopp said. “Not only are we unable to staff classrooms appropriately, we are also concerned about the physical well-being of our kids and coworkers.”

Close contacts with the positive individuals will be asked to quarantine for 14 days from the last date of exposure. Close contacts include those who:

  • Had direct physical contact with the infected individuals (e.g. a hug or handshake).
  • Were within six feet of the COVID-19-positive individuals for more than 15 minutes.
  • Had contact with respiratory secretions from the infected individuals (e.g. were coughed/sneezed on, had contact with dirty tissue, or shared a drinking glass, food or towels or other personal items).

Those who do not receive a phone call from the Division of Health or a close-contact letter from Wilmot Union High School were likely not in contact with the COVID-19-positive individual and are therefore not
considered to be in a higher-risk group.

“We know that it can be confusing for our school communities across Kenosha County to see schools opening and closing,” said Kenosha County Health Officer Dr. Jen Freiheit in the news release. “Dates for release from
quarantine can change because of new positives coming through, which we understand can be difficult for parents, guardians and students. The schools and the Division of Health are working very closely together to get information out as quickly as we receive it.”

Parents are urged to monitor their students and other family members for any COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, fatigue, headaches, etc. Those who do become symptomatic should call their health care provider.

Freiheit said parents should not send students to school even with minor symptoms such as a persistent headache, runny nose or cough. Those who find out they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for virus should call their health care provider and seek testing.
A frequently updated list of testing sites in and around Kenosha County is available online at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/2058/COVID-19-Testing-Locations.

More information about the virus, including local data and links to resources, is available on the Kenosha County COVID-19 Response Hub
website, at https://www.kenoshacounty.org/covid-19.

If you would like more information on COVID-19 safety in school, visit https://kenosha-county-covid-19-response-kenoshacounty.hub.arcgis.com/, or call the Division of Health at 262-605-6700.

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