Joseph Gomez Elementary School will temporarily return to virtual learning on Friday, April 16, following confirmation by the V.I. Department of Health (VIDOH) on April 15 of one positive COVID-19 case among the students engaged in in-person learning at the school.
Based on the research of exposure to COVID-19, the Department of Health has advised district and school leaders that the student’s class should temporarily return to virtual learning, while other classes can safely continue in-person learning at the school.
However, due to other staff members’ potential interaction in the affected classroom, the district has made the decision to close the school to in-person learning and have all students temporarily return to virtual learning, beginning April 16, while other staff members are tested.
These are the facts:
The student, who only attends in-person classes on Thursdays and Fridays as part of the student’s Cohort B schedule, attended class on April 15 and presented symptoms of COVID-19.
The student was isolated, and the parent immediately called to pick the child up from school.
The student was tested for COVID-19 on April 15, and the Joseph Gomez Elementary School administration received confirmation from VI Department of Health of the student’s positive case that day.
Staff, students and parents of the Joseph Gomez Elementary School have been informed of the positive case at the school.
The Department of Health continues to investigate and conduct contact tracing among other students and staff who may have come in contact with the positive student. They will undergo COVID-19 testing where necessary.
The affected classroom and the school have been thoroughly sanitized and fogged with the appropriate, CDC-approved cleaning/sanitizing solutions.
“It is to be expected that we will have reports of possible exposure to COVID-19 among students and staff, but the important thing is that all of our schools, including the Joseph Gomez Elementary School, have the appropriate safety protocols in place, which we have activated at Joseph Gomez Elementary School,” wrote Superintendent Stefan Jurgen in a letter to Gomez students, staff and parents.
“We know that we are operating during a global pandemic, so the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are our top priority. Being able to manage these situations with a smaller student population on our campuses will help us strengthen our operations, with possibly more students returning for in-person learning during the 2021-2022 school year. I wish our student a speedy recovery and a return to good health,” Jurgen wrote.
The Department of Education will provide an update on when the Joseph Gomez Elementary School will return to in-person learning.