County schools see COVID-19 cases

MIAMI COUNTY — Several Miami County schools have identified COVID-19 cases within their districts.

Acording to Miami County Public Health Health Educator Vicky Knisley-Henry, Troy and Tipp City schools, along with Upper Valley Career Center, have confirmed coronavirus cases.

According to a letter to parents from Tipp City Schools Superintendent Mark J. Stefanik, a new confirmed case of COVID-19 in a student or staff person has been identified at LT Ball Intermediate School and Tippecanoe High School.

Stefanik said cleaning and disinfecting of the exposed locations has been completed.

Stefanik said both schools will remain open at this time.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Chris Piper said the schools have had two confirmed COVID-10 cases among staff members and one confirmed case for a student.

“Now that we have our students and staff members back in our schools, it is inevitable that some may test positive for COVID-19,” Piper said. “We will continue to do everything we can to keep our students and staff safe, including social distancing, face mask requirements and proper cleaning procedures. However, it is not possible to ensure social distancing at all times when all students are in school.”

According to a letter from Troy Junior High Principal Jeff Greulich to parents, at least one of the cases was confirmed at the junior high. He said cleaning and disinfecting of the exposed location also has been completed.

Troy Junior High will remain open at this time, Greulich said in the letter.

Both districts are working closely with Miami County Public Health, the district’s letters stated, and anyone identified as a close contact will be notified by the health department as a part of COVID-19 contact tracing.

“At this time we do not anticipate that there were any close contacts of the individual who tested positive,” Greulich said.

Piper said the district will continue to keep parents and students informed of any cases found in a school, in a classroom, on a bus or on a team that test positive for COVID-19.

“When a student or staff member tests positive, contact tracing will occur and people will be notified when they need to be quarantined. This does not mean those quarantined tested positive, only that they may have been exposed to someone who did test positive,” Piper said. “If Miami County Public Health determines that any student or staff member has been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, they will be notified directly.”

Upper Valley Career Center Public Relations Coordinator Audrey Gutman said UVCC had one positive case, which happened prior to the new state reporting mandate being issued.

“Moving forward, any future cases will be reported on the website along with the letter from (Superintendent) Dr. (Nancy) Luce,” Gutman said.

Knisley-Henry said there is no set number of cases of COVID-19 in which a school will be closed.

“If necessary, Miami County Public Health would work with the schools to determine that. A threshold number of cases has not been identified,” Knisley-Henry said.

Knisley-Henry said many of the schools also have a contingency plan to go to online learning if the county is moved to a No. 3 Red Risk level.