[UPDATE: Ketchikan Charter School will reopen to staff Wednesday, September 2, but it’s pushing back the first day of classes to September 10. Read more here.]
An employee at Ketchikan Charter School tested positive for COVID-19 Monday. That’s according to a news release from Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District Superintendent Beth Lougee.
In a separate release, Ketchikan pandemic response officials say the unnamed employee sought testing after coming down with symptoms of the disease.
District officials didn’t release any further information about the employee’s role at Ketchikan Charter School. It’s the first COVID-19 case announced in a district employee since staff returned to schools. Principals came back to work in early August. Teachers returned last week.
The school’s Schoenbar Road campus will be closed for at least 24 hours. Ketchikan Pest Control will disinfect the entire building, then custodial workers will deep-clean the building, Lougee wrote.
Employees will be notified by 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, September 1 whether they’ll be permitted to return to work on Wednesday, September 2. Lougee says she’ll provide another public update Tuesday after 5 p.m.
In a brief phone interview Monday, Lougee said the district’s back-to-school plan remains unchanged for now — that is, classes are expected to resume in-person at full capacity on September 8.
The Ketchikan Charter School employee is isolating at home, according to Ketchikan’s emergency operations center. Officials say they’re still investigating the source of the infection. State public health nurses are looking into the positive individual’s recent contacts.
An additional two residents tested positive on Friday. Those two individuals likely caught the virus while traveling, according to Ketchikan’s emergency operations center.
Ketchikan’s pandemic risk level remains at level 1, or “low” — that’s based on low pandemic activity in the past week. But officials encourage anyone with even mild symptoms of COVID-19 to isolate themselves from others and seek testing. Free drive-up testing is available at Berth 3 in downtown Ketchikan Tuesday through Saturday. There’s more information about coronavirus testing at the Ketchikan testing hotline at 247-TEST.