Indiana junior high student tests positive for COVID-19 on first day of class

Posted at 1:08 PM, Aug 03, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — A junior high student tested positive for COVID-19 after the district's first day back to school.

The superintendent for at Greenfield-Central Junior High School sent an email to parents and students notifying them of the positive coronavirus case late last week.

According to the message, the student attended school for part of the day and was then taken to the school's clinic and isolated.

The child was sent to school despite having a COVID-19 test pending. The superintendent says anyone who was in close contact with the student has already been notified.

The Hancock County Health Department released the following statement about the incident:

"On July 30, 2020, the Hancock County Health Department was notified of a positive COVID-19 test result for a student that was in attendance at Greenfield-Central Junior High. The Hancock County Health Department and the Greenfield-Central Community School Corporation (G-CCSC) officials followed their COVID-19 response plan that was jointly created prior to the beginning of the school year. Local health officials immediately notified the COVID-19 contact for the G-CCSC. Parents and guardians of the students who had been exposed were notified by school officials. Those students will remain in quarantine according to CDC recommendations. As the contact tracing process continues, Local and State Health Departments will continue to coordinate with the G-CCSC officials."

Parents with children who attend the school are frustrated and concerned.

"Why would you send your child to school knowing that you are waiting for this result?" Kelley Thompson said.

Monika Ogle's daughter just started seventh grade on Thursday.

"So, of course in my mind I'm thinking 'here we go,'" Ogle said. "Honestly, I was just waiting for the phone call but I never received one so hopefully that means everything is good."

Superintendent Dr. Harold Olin said contract tracing has now started and a large group of students that were in close contact with the student are in quarantine for 14 days.

"It's certainly unfortunate for those families that were contacted last night," Olin said. "They have this excitement about being back for the first day of school and that very night getting a phone call saying your child is going to need to stay home for two weeks. Disappointing? Yes. The word you asked me about yes I'm disappointed."

Olin said the focus now is on educating parents of expectations.

"If a pending test is out there we would think that parents would not send their students to us until that was clear," Olin said.

"The guidelines say that if your kid is running a fever or having symptoms you keep your kid home," Thompson said. "That's common sense."

Parents are being asked to self-monitor their children. If they have any symptoms or a fever above 99.5 degrees keep them home.

This story originally reported by Ray Steele and Nicole Griffin on