CORONAVIRUS

Iowa City classroom quarantined after positive COVID-19 case

Head custodian Effie Redig helps a young student with her face visor as students arrive during the first day of in-perso
Head custodian Effie Redig helps a young student with her face visor as students arrive during the first day of in-person classes at Shimek Elementary School, 1400 Grissel Place, in Iowa City, Iowa, on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. The school has an enrollment of about 205 students. The school district has been in online-only learning for the past three weeks and started the hybrid learning model Monday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

A classroom in the Iowa City Community School District is in quarantine after being exposed to the coronavirus last week.

A classroom of less than 10 students were exposed to COVID-19, and have been quarantining since Wednesday, Oct. 7, district spokeswoman Kristin Pederson said. Their quarantine will be 14 days.

She could not say the exact number of students that were being quarantined because of this exposure or which school the exposure was in.

This is the first exposure in the Iowa City district that has lead to an entire classroom quarantining. The quarantined students are continuing learning virtually.

About 55 percent of students are in the hybrid learning model, split between attending school on-site on A or B days. On the days they are not on-site, students are learning remotely.

Forty-five percent of students are enrolled in online learning.

Students and staff are required to wear masks when on-site and encouraged to social distance.

The Iowa City Community School District updates the number of positive coronavirus cases and the number of students and staff quarantining because of exposure.

As of Monday at 3 p.m.:

— 45 students are currently positive for COVID-19;

— 94 students are currently quarantining due to exposure to COVID-19;

— 94 students have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 15, including current and recovered cases;

— six staff are currently positive for COVID-19;

— eight staff are currently quarantining due to exposure to COVID-19;

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— 38 staff have tested positive for COVID-19 since Aug. 15, including current and recovered cases.

In an interview with The Gazette on Monday, Jessica Jimmerson, who oversees contact tracing and quarantine for the district, said that when a student or staff member tests positive for COVID-19, the school district is notified. The building administrator will notify the building nurse, Jimmerson and a few other people who need to know about a positive case in the district, Jimmerson said.

They will determine if the person was in school 48 hours before their symptoms started. If they are asymptomatic, the district will determine if the person was in school 48 hours before they were tested for COVID-19.

Contact tracing will begin, taking into consideration if a mask was being worn properly and who they may have come into contact with for more than 15 minutes and less than six feet apart.

In every classroom, students’ desks should be spaced out six feet or more, Jimmerson said.

The district works closely with Johnson County Public Health for contact tracing.

“Every day we’re learning something new,” Pedersen said. “Every situation that occurs we’re learning something new about changes that can make, what’s working, what’s not.”

Comments: (319) 398-8411; grace.king@thegazette.com

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