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Fri, Dec. 04

Verde schools report few COVID-19 cases

On Oct. 19, Beaver Creek School learned of a positive COVID-19 test on its campus, District Superintendent Karin Ward said Friday.

On Oct. 19, Beaver Creek School learned of a positive COVID-19 test on its campus, District Superintendent Karin Ward said Friday.

VERDE VALLEY—As of Monday afternoon, Mingus Union High School District has no reported COVID-19 positive cases since opening school to face-to-face instruction.

However, there have been positive COVID-19 cases reported in at least four other school districts: Beaver Creek, Clarkdale-Jerome, Cottonwood-Oak Creek and Sedona-Oak Creek.

On Oct. 19, Beaver Creek School learned of one positive COVID-19 test on its campus. According to an Oct. 21 letter to the district’s families and staff, District Superintendent Karin Ward and Principal Allie Wheeler wrote that the person who had contracted COVID-19 had last been on campus on Oct. 8, the day immediately before the district's fall break.

Ward said Friday she could not disclose whether the positive test was of a child or adult.

“I’m not at liberty to say,” Beaver Creek Superintendent Karin Ward said. “I’m supposed to keep it confidential.”

The letter explained that the person is currently isolated and will not return until medically cleared.

"Any students or staff who may have been exposed has already been notified by the school," the letter also stated.

Although Ward said the district has contacted the approximately 15 families who may have been exposed. She also said that the district is “pretty confident that everyone’s OK."

Clarkdale-Jerome learned Thursday, Oct. 22 of a student who had tested positive for COVID-19. That student, according to a letter Superintendent Danny Brown sent to families Thursday, was last on campus on Oct. 21.

“Working in conjunction with the Yavapai County Community Health Services, we were able to complete contact tracing and notify parents who were potentially exposed,” Brown told the Verde Independent on Monday. “We continue to work closely with YCCHS with our mitigation protocols. We also notified all parents at school about the confirmed case.”

“Without giving exact numbers (for privacy purposes) we did have a few students who are under the quarantining guidance,” Brown said.

Monday morning, Cottonwood-Oak Creek Superintendent Steve King said, is when he was notified of a COVID-19 positive case within the district.

“It’s not a community exposure,” King said. “It was an exposure at home.”

The student, King said Monday, is not showing symptoms at this time.

“The affected individual has been isolated,” King wrote Monday in a letter to the district’s families. Their immediate family/household members and all identified close contacts have been directed to quarantine, monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, and work with their healthcare providers to get tested as directed by Yavapai County Community Health Services.

One student at Sedona Oak Creek tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Dennis Dearden said Monday. That student, Dearden said, is believed to have contracted the virus from an adult, and not on campus.

“On Thursday (Oct. 22), we got a call from one student who tested positive,” Dearden said. “He’s quarantined himself with his family. We contacted Yavapai County Health’s Leslie Horton, we’ve worked with her on protocol.”

Dearden explained that Sedona Oak Creek “identified a few students (who had been in contact with the student who tested positive) and asked them to quarantine for 14 days.”

“This is also a reminder we’ve got to be vigilant all the time, to wear masks and to social distance,” Dearden said. “We want to keep our kids in school.”

As of 3 p.m. Monday, Camp Verde Unified Superintendent Danny Howe has not responded to emails nor telephone calls whether his district has had any positive COVID-19 cases.

Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @AZShutterbug42

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