Franklin school employee tests positive for COVID-19

Published 5:56 pm Monday, October 5, 2020

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An employee at S.P. Morton Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19. This was confirmed in an announcement sent to all other Franklin City Public Schools staff and faculty late Monday afternoon.

Dr. Tamara Sterling, superintendent of Franklin City Public Schools, stated that the district had learned about the employee, who has self-quarantined. In keeping with federal health privacy laws, the identity will not be released.

“Please respect the staff member’s privacy during this difficult time,” wrote Sterling.

Earlier in the day, The Tidewater News had contacted FCPS after getting an anonymous tip about an employee at SPM. The paper asked how Sterling was notified, and whether or not the school system was aware of the matter prior to being contacted by TTN.

Tammy Moore, executive secretary to the superintendent, said, “Staff members reach out to their immediate supervisors who then submit a Critical Incident Form, which is sent to HR and the Superintendent’s Office. From there HR conducts an investigation. This matter was in the midst of being investigated when you contacted the office.”

Sterling reminded all FCPS staff members they are required to wear a mask when entering any of the Franklin City Public Schools buildings, including Central Office. Social distancing is also to be maintained.

“Upon learning the news, we contacted the Virginia Department of Health and have been working with them on next steps,” said Sterling in her statement. “All employees directly impacted by this news have been contacted and will be quarantined. Also, as an additional precautionary measure, the building will continue to receive deep cleaning and will reopen on Monday, Oct. 12.”

Sterling also said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends contacting your doctor if you believe you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and other symptoms, such as coughing or difficulty breathing. More information can be found at Virginia Health Department. In addition, please take social distancing seriously: avoid crowds, stay at home, and maintain at least a six-feet distance from other people.

The superintendent continued, “We will continue to provide updates as needed. Questions can be sent to HR or the Superintendent’s Office directly. Thank you for your continued support. By working together, we will get through these challenging times. As you know, the well-being of our students, employees and families is our number one priority.

“Please join me in sending healing thoughts to our staff member.”