A case of the coronavirus was confirmed at Saucon Valley High School earlier this weekend, superintendent Dr. Craig Butler said in an email sent to parents Friday evening.
Butler’s email indicated that the district had been notified of the case Friday evening.
“District administration is currently working with the Department of Health for guidance,” he said. “The classrooms and spaces used by the individual will be cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines.”
“Staff members and students who may have come into close contact (within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes) with the individual will be directly contacted by their local health department and/or staff of the Saucon Valley School District with further instructions,” he added.
Butler said in his email that parents and students are encouraged to do the following to help prevent the spread of the highly contagious virus, both at home and in school:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands frequently.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough and sneeze.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
- Practice social distancing and wear a face mask or fae covering.
Butler didn’t say whether the infected individual is a student or staff member due to confidentiality laws, but promised to communicate with parents and guardians as the district receives updated information from the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
“If you or anyone in your family has symptoms of COVID-19 including fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, chills and/or temporary loss of smell and taste, please contact your health care provider to discuss the need for testing,” the email requested.
“I will provide updates and will continue to use our communication system to keep families and staff informed,” Butler added. “Please know the health and safety of our students and staff is our utmost priority.”
Saucon Valley’s scheduled Friday night football scrimmage against Bethlehem Catholic High School–its first of the season–was canceled at the last minute, although it was not immediately clear if the cancellation was due to the positive test result at Saucon Valley.
Two COVID-19 positive test results at Pen Argyl High School last week resulted in the school’s closure for a week as well as the cancellation or postponement of athletic events, including football games. It is scheduled to reopen Sept. 23, the Morning Call reported.
Meanwhile, in the Southern Lehigh School District, parents upset about the district’s decision to educate students entirely remotely–at least through early November–are holding a rally to reopen their schools Sunday afternoon in Upper Saucon Township.
News of the first confirmed COVID-19 case in the Saucon Valley School District comes amid rising case counts in Northampton County, which as of late last week had the fourth highest infection rate in Pennsylvania. As of Sunday, the county was reporting 20 new cases of COVID-19 per day–or 6.6 cases per 100,000 residents–on average.
The next Saucon Valley School Board meeting is scheduled to be held Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. via the Zoom virtual meeting platform. For more information as well as the agenda for the meeting, visit the school board page on the district’s website.