With a total of 1,654 cases of Coronavirus reported in the parish as of October 2, it shouldn’t be a surprise that there were a number of cases reported among employees and students of the Washington Parish School System. Between its employees and its students, the parish school system is the largest organization in the parish.
Because of individual medical privacy requirements, the parish system cannot release specific details of Coronavirus infections within the schools. One school, Wesley Ray Elementary near Angie, had a “potential” exposure to Coronavirus and shut down for two weeks at the end of August and beginning of September. The shutdown was out of “an abundance of caution” the school system said at the time.
Tricia Smith, who is an administrator with the parish school system, said students and staff at all levels of the system have contracted Coronavirus but, again, she could not be specific without violating medical privacy regulations.
She said the school system has a rigid policy when a positive test is reported for either a staff member or a student. “When a positive test is reported, the school system follows the guidance of the Louisiana Department of Health and the regional medical director. Positive cases are reported to the Louisiana Department of Health,” Mrs. Smith said.
“Each situation is investigated and when other students or staff have been exposed, they are notified to self-quarantine. Positive cases isolate for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms or their test date when asymptomatic. Those who are exposed are quarantined for 14 days from exposure.”
She added, “We work diligently to protect the privacy of our staff and students while maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all.”