One confirmed case of COVID-19 at IWA 

Published 6:21 pm Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Isle of Wight Academy recently saw its first confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus.

According to a letter Headmaster Mark Munford sent to parents, the infected individual is a student as opposed to a faculty member. But the private school isn’t releasing any additional details.

When contacted by the paper, Munford cited privacy rules established by the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as barring him from saying any more.

“We have followed the guidance from Dr. Todd Wagner at the Western Tidewater Health District,” Munford said.

As for what those recommendations are, Wagner declined to provide specifics, or even confirm the one positive case.

“If there were to be a case at IOW Academy, or any other school for that matter, our response is the same … to work with the entity, such as a school, business, to identify any close contacts there and any at home, and advise them if there is a need to quarantine based on their risk stratification,” Wagner said.

On Aug. 31, the school brought its faculty and 637 students in preschool through 12th grade back to campus. The school has implemented numerous precautions to prevent students from coming into close contact with each other, including limiting most class sizes to 18 or fewer students, distancing students’ desks at least six feet from each other and implementing a two-bell system where half the students in grades 6-12 change classes at the first bell and the other half at the second.

A parent described Munford’s letter as “very thorough.”

“It wasn’t if this happened, we knew it would,” she recalls the letter saying.

While she said she’s concerned about IWA’s first case, she’s not planning on pulling her children out of school.