An employee with Owensboro Public Schools has tested positive for COVID-19, as announced in statement Wednesday afternoon from Matthew Constant, Interim Superintendent.
According to the statement, all employees who came in contact with the individual have been sent home to self-isolate for a 14-day period at the direction of the Green River District Health Department. They do not believe that anyone who had secondary contact is at risk at this time.
The individual who tested positive was not having symptoms while on the job, however they were helping out with the OPS feeding sites. Because transportation and food service staff were following all recommended safety guidelines with gloves and hand sanitizer, the Health Department said that there is an extremely low risk to the community.
However, Constant said in the letter that OPS felt it was necessary to inform the public of this low-risk exposure.
OPS will be altering their schedule to only provide meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning next Monday. Those meals will have extra food.
In posting their statement to social media OPS said it is important to remain calm during this time and know that they have shared all the information with that they can.
The full statement from Constant reads as follows:
This morning, our district was notified that an employee has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and we are sending this letter to you in order to be transparent and to give you all the information you need to know.
At the direction of the Green River District Health Department, all employees who came in contact with this individual have been sent home to self-isolate for a 14 day period. They do not believe that anyone who had secondary contact (meaning came in contact with someone who had direct contact) is at risk at this time.
However, the individual who tested positive was not having symptoms while on the job, however they were helping out with our feeding sites, specifically the sites located at Chesterfield/River Rd, Kendall Perkins Park, Moreland Park, Cravens Pool and Lincolnshire Apartments. The route also took them down Walnut St, Ebach St. and Greentree Apartments. Our transportation and food service staff were following, and continue to follow, all recommended safety guidelines with gloves and hand sanitizer. Therefore, the Health Department has said that there is an extremely low risk to the community. However, we felt it was necessary to inform the public of this low-risk exposure.
We will still continue to provide meals at the regular stops, however, we will be altering the schedule to only provide meals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning Monday, March 30. Deliveries will continue as normal through the end of this week. The meals provided on Monday, Wednesday and Friday beginning next week will have additional food to ensure that we are limiting the amount of exposure during this time, while still providing enough food for the week.
Let this serve as another reminder to heed the warnings of Governor Andy Beshear and national healthcare officials to stay home and avoid gathering with others. Please continue to practice social distancing, proper hygiene and do not leave your home unless absolutely necessary during this time. The Health Department believes the virus is community-spread at this point and all necessary precautions need to be taken to protect yourself and others.
I understand this can be a scary time, but I assure you, these steps are necessary to prevent the spread of this virus further. Please take this seriously and abide by all guidelines laid out by the Center for Disease Control and Governor Andy Beshear moving forward.
Interim Superintendent, Owensboro Public Schools
The Owensboro Health coronavirus hotline is available 24/7 by calling 877-888-6647. Call the hotline before seeking in-person care. More information from OH can be found here.
For the latest information and data on COVID-19 in Kentucky visit kycovid19.ky.gov or dial the Kentucky state hotline at 800-722-5725.
For the latest health guidelines and resources from the CDC, visit their website here.