CHARLESTOWN — A Charlestown High School student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a phone message left for parents this afternoon from principal Amy Cook.

Parents of students considered close contacts of the student who tested positive will be separately contacted and asked to have their child begin a 14-day quarantine, contact their healthcare provider for testing options and monitor for symptoms of the virus. Close contacts include anyone who has been within six feet of the student for more than 15 minutes.

Wednesday was the first day of classes for the 2020-21 school year in Greater Clark County Schools, which is offering both in-person and online instruction. Clark County Health Officer Dr. Eric Yazel said the student had been there at least Wednesday and Thursday.

The principal also encouraged all Charlestown High School parents to monitor their children for symptoms, and said that the facilities will be deep-cleaned before students return Monday.

Yazel, who has been working closely with Greater Clark throughout the pandemic, said he understands that parents may be anxious knowing that there has been a case identified at the school, but it was not unexpected that there would be some cases and he believes the school is doing everything according to protocol for optimum safety.

“I’m a parent of a Clark County student myself,” he said. “I understand where they’re coming from but this is something we’ve expected from the get-go, and it just shows the process is working.”

Yazel said he walked through the school Wednesday and was “very comfortable with their process in infection control and mask-wearing,” he said. “This is a school that’s done everything right.”

“It’s just something we need to navigate and make good common sense decisions that takes the safety of our children in hand and also balances the importance of going back to school.”

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