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Hancock County student gets positive COVID-19 test result during first day of school

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Posted at 3:00 PM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 23:15:10-04

HANCOCK COUNTY — School and health officials in Hancock County say a student who had tested positive for COVID-19 showed up for the first day of school on Monday after their physician gave them a wrong quarantine end date.

According to a press release issued Monday afternoon, the student wore a mask as required by the "Return to School" recommendations. The student and a small number of close contacts were also isolated. Family members of those who came in close contact with the student were notified and they were removed from school for 14 days.

The student, who had been tested for COVID-19 several days ago, returned to the first day of classes on August 3. According to school and health officials, a note from the family's physician at Hancock Health had included an incorrect return to school date. The school noticed the error after the health department notified them about the positive test result.

"Hancock Health is conducting a full review of its test notification process to ensure compliance with reporting guidelines to ensure the safe return of students to all Hancock County schools," the press release stated.

Hancock Health is also working to implement rapid turn-around testing within the next week to ensure more timely results.

School officials say if you were not contacted by the school, then your student was not in close contact with the positive student.

This is the second New Palestine student to test positive for COVID-19 in recent days. On August 1, football players and families were notified that a New Palestine High School Football Player had tested positive for COVID-19.

READ | New Palestine Football Player Tests Positive for COVID-19

The full joint statement from Southern Hancock Schools and Hancock Health can be read below.

Southern Hancock administrators were notified by the Hancock County Health Department of a positive test result among the New Palestine High School student body this morning.

A note from the family’s physician at Hancock Health providing notification of test results inadvertently included an incorrect return to school date. Hancock Health is conducting a full review of its test notification process to ensure compliance with reporting guidelines to ensure the safe return of students to all Hancock County schools. Hancock Health is unified with our schools in keeping students, staff, and families safe. Due to the long turn-around times of COVID-19 test results, Hancock Health will be implementing rapid turn-around testing within the next week to help ensure more timely results.

The student wore a mask as required by the Return to School recommendations and administrators isolated the student with the positive test result as well as a small number of close contacts. Families of close contacts have been notified of this positive test and removed from school for a period of 14 days. If your family was not notified, your student was not in close contact with the positive student.

Families should not send their students to school if they have a confirmed COVID-19 case in their home, if their student has pending test results of a COVID-19 test, or if their student is showing any symptoms of COVID-19.

School will proceed as scheduled at NPHS and all other CSCSHC buildings on Tuesday.
-CSCSHC Administration and Hancock Health