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Confirmation of COVID-19 & Future Communication Protocols

Dear Parents & Students,

The Howell County Health Department confirmed a new case of COVID-19 affecting an individual who attended the morning weight classes at the West Plains High School Athletic Training Facility.  The district was also notified of a positive test of an individual in one of the adult programs at the South Central Career Center. The district is working with the Howell County Health Department to identify close contacts of the confirmed cases and assess the risk of exposure.  Due to preventative measures the district has been taking, the Howell County Health Department deemed that other individuals at the facility were at low risk of exposure. The district directly contacted all parents of students who may have had a possible exposure to COVID-19 at the athletic facility and the career center.   

In the future, for all COVID-19 exposure notifications, the Howell County Health Department will guide the district.  Only those individuals who are deemed at risk of exposure by our local health department will be notified by the District. We will not send district-wide notifications for positive or presumptive positive cases unless a child or staff member needs to be notified of the potential exposure, according to health department guidelines.  The only exception to this procedure would be in the case of a community or school-wide event where contact tracing could not happen.

In all cases, the names of individuals within the district who are affected by Covid-19 will be kept confidential. The district has a legal obligation to uphold HIPPA privacy rules and will follow the policies of the health department in all notifications or public statements.

The West Plains School District is continuing to monitor both situations and will provide additional information as needed.  We will continue to take preventative measures to ensure the safety of our students.  If you have additional questions, please contact the Howell County Health Department at 256-7078.

Sincerely,

Dr. Lori Wilson
Superintendent of Schools