ELMORE COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - An Elmore County Public Schools teacher tested positive for coronavirus, Superintendent Richard Dennis confirmed in a letter to schools Thursday.
The teacher informed the school district Wednesday that she had a confirmed case of COVID-19.
The superintendent said they don’t know when the teacher contracted the virus, but the Alabama Department of Public Health advised the school district to contact everyone who may have been in contact with the teacher in the last two weeks.
“Therefore, out of our responsibility to students and employees, we are sending this notification to inform you that students attending Wetumpka Elementary, Wetumpka Middle, Wetumpka High, Redland, Eclectic Elementary and Elmore County High Schools may have been exposed to COVID-19 through contact with this teacher,” Dennis’ letter said.
Upon hearing the news, Elmore County Schools’ lead nurse, Suzanne Ragan, took action.
“When we received this information and needed to send out precautionary measures we got on that immediately," said Ragan. "We typed those up, we had them posted to all of our outlets, the Facebook outlet. Our nurses were made aware and we immediately implemented precautionary measures, you know, to ensure the safety of our students and guidance on what they should do if they felt like they had come in contact with anyone to please notify me and I will give them directions step by step on who to notify.”
The teacher works individually with certain students but was at each school in the two weeks before she showed symptoms.
Administrators will contact the parents of students who had direct contact with the teacher.
As of Thursday morning, there were 68 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Alabama, including five in Elmore County. Thursday afternoon, the number of cases increased to 77.
Ragan says there are ways to differentiate between allergies and the coronavirus.
“To separate it, there is a screening line that you must call and they will go through it thoroughly with a physician and give them their answer if they need to be tested,” said Ragan.
You can also contact the Alabama Department of Public Health COVID-19 hotline to find out about testing locations and options. That number is 1-888-264-2256.