A student at Rappahannock County High School tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday, marking the first reported student case of the virus on the high school campus and bringing the school system's total case count to five.

The student was last on school grounds on Tuesday, and after contact tracing was conducted, those identified as close contacts were notified Thursday night and advised to quarantine. The high school remained open on Friday.

A high school staff member also came down with the virus before the school year began, so the case was not reported by the school system, Superintendent Dr. Shannon Grimsley said, noting that it had no impact on school operations. “Other than small discussions with staff who needed to know … it didn’t need to be broadcasted to the public,” she said.

The staffer has since become “very ill,” according to Grimsley. She said contact tracing revealed their source of exposure was somebody outside the school system and that no additional cases resulted from the staffer.

To date, an elementary school student tested positive for the virus on the first day back from summer break. Two sixth-grade students have tested positive — the first of which caused the building to shutter on Tuesday and forced the entire sixth-grade into quarantine until Monday, Aug. 23, out of an "abundance of caution."

A high school sports coach this week also tested positive. The coach, who was not identified by the schools in order to protect their identity and the identities of the team members, was last at the elementary school on Tuesday where practices are conducted.

While contact tracing is underway, the team’s practices were cancelled at least through Monday, Aug. 23, and members who came into close contact with the coach were placed into quarantine.

Rappahannock County has added 14 new COVID-19 cases since last Friday, Aug. 13.


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