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NEW Lutheran goes virtual after two students positive for coronavirus went to school

The school plans to resume in-person classes on Friday, October 9.
Published: Sep. 24, 2020 at 3:58 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - N.E.W. Lutheran High School, a private high school in Green Bay, went to virtual learning Thursday after finding out two students continued attending school after testing positive for the coronavirus.

A letter sent to families said students were tested on September 15 and the test results came back September 17, but the school didn’t learn about it until Wednesday night. Executive Director Chris Nelson blamed it on a misunderstanding by the students' family over “the circumstances and procedures for communicating and safely returning to school.”

“It was an unfortunate situation, we had a family make a mistake, I think they just had one thing in mind in terms of the way they needed to handle the situation. The good thing is we have the love of Christ that drives us and means everything to us; so there is forgiveness. His power is much greater than anything we’re dealing with right now. We’re going to get past this, we’re going to move forward,” said Nelson.

Nelson said trying to do contact tracing for the two students during the days in question “would be next to impossible.”

“It just became very difficult to foresee how we would even start the tracing process, so we decided to do a two week quarantine just for the whole school,” said Nelson.

The school plans to resume in-person classes on Friday, October 9.

Brown County health officials say situations like this are highlighting the importance of open and honest communication between parents and their child’s school, even if those tested are not showing any symptoms.

“Part of the risk with children not having symptoms, it’s those asymptomatic super spreaders,” said Brown County Health Officer, Anna Destree. “If they have it, but they’re not experiencing symptoms, they are more likely to be by somebody they love or a friend or neighbor or somebody who is at risk.”

“The biggest thing that I’ve learned is that you can never stop sharing the message of being careful, being safe, doing the right things so that we can stay in school,” said Nelson.

During the quarantine, NEW Lutheran families are being urged to postpone travel; avoid large gatherings, work, restaurants and public areas; don’t have guests over, but rather minimize contact with people from outside the household; avoid public forms of transportation; and practice good hygiene, including washing hands often.

Nelson continues in the letter to remind parents to have conversations with their kids about the importance of washing hands, wearing face coverings, covering coughs and sneezes, and staying home when you’re sick. He also said any coronavirus tests or potential close contact with an infected person needs to be reported to the school immediately.

Copyright 2020 WBAY. All rights reserved.

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