A temporary volunteer and substitute teacher who worked at Sutterville Elementary School in February has tested positive for coronavirus, which causes the respiratory illness COVID-19, the Sacramento City Unified School District said Wednesday night.
The announcement was made as school districts and universities wrestle with trying to decide whether to suspend classes in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Sacramento Unified Superintendent Jorge Aguilar has been in consultation with Sacramento County Public Health, according to a news release. The school district will continue to follow guidance from county public health officials, so the district’s schools, including Sutterville Elementary, will remain open until further notice.
“Based on guiding principles on COVID-19 mitigation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released today, and the circumstances of this single confirmed case of COVID-19, the SCPH is not recommending that this school be closed at this time,” said Dr. Peter Beilenson, Sacramento County Public Health director.
Beilenson also said that any student or employee who is feeling sick should stay home until free of symptoms for 72 hours, or after seven days from the start of symptoms, whichever is longer.
Aguilar said the district will continue to work closely with public health officials to monitor the health of students and staff members. District officials said Sutterville Elementary has not experienced a significant drop in attendance due to illness, and has maintained an above-average attendance rate for the past several weeks.
“The district is taking the proactive step of sanitizing the Sutterville campus with a deep cleaning tonight,” Aguilar said in the news release.
Sutterville is the fifth school in the district — two high schools and three elementary schools — that has been cleaned and disinfected in recent weeks after community members with ties to the school have had contact with those who tested positive.
District officials said the most recent guidance recommends community mitigation measures to protect those most at risk of getting severely sick. People at higher risk due to age or conditions such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, heart disease, or lung diseases such as COPD, along with severely weakened immune systems, should consider staying home and away from gatherings where people are within arm’s length.
More information about the school district’s response to the spread of coronavirus is available at www.scusd.edu/covid-19.