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FUSD classroom quarantined after individual tests positive for COVID-19
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FUSD classroom quarantined after individual tests positive for COVID-19

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Less than a week after Marshall Elementary School reopened in-person learning on Monday, a classroom is returning to remote instruction due to exposure to COVID-19.

School officials said an individual at Marshall Elementary in Flagstaff has tested positive for the coronavirus and had direct contact with one classroom. That classroom will be taught remotely for two weeks, a time frame consistent with the Flagstaff Unified School District quarantine protocols.

The positive individual is already isolating at home, FUSD Chief Health Administrator McKenzie Bevirt said. The district did not release additional public information such as the classroom’s grade level or whether the individual was a student at the school.

FUSD health officials were able to identify several points of contact with the virus and have notified those who might have been exposed. FUSD recommends that individuals notified of a potential exposure undergo a two-week self-quarantine period.

FUSD's quarantine protocol allows for individuals to be released early if certain criteria are met, such as testing negative for the coronavirus after six days of isolation without showing any symptoms, Bevirt said.

Coconino County Health and Human Services was notified about the case by the district, and it will assist with both contact tracing and providing additional quarantine information to those who were in direct contact.

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“The county’s contact tracing team gets in contact with the family as well and provides them additional information about quarantine and exposures, and then they will conduct a secondary disease investigation with that family to get them resources they need and get them the guidelines for isolation,” Bevirt said.

A cleaning team is currently in the process of sanitizing the affected classroom, said Zachery Fountain, FUSD communications director. Other areas of the school, such as nearby classrooms, should not be interrupted by the cleaning process.

When Can Kids and Teens, Begin Receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine?. To date, the number of fully vaccinated Americans has exceeded 44 million. Currently, COVID-19 vaccines have been authorized only for people who are age 16 or older. With anxious parents hoping to return to some form of normalcy, Moderna has begun clinical trials of its vaccine for children. Johnson & Johnson will also begin trials of its vaccine for children this month. [Clinical trials for children are] happening because all parents want to protect their kids, Dr. Steve Plimpton, KidCOVE Study, via CNN. While Dr. Anthony Fauci has stated that COVID-19 vaccines for children will likely not be available until 2022. other researchers speculate that they could be available as early as November. Regardless, while parents and teachers will be vaccinated by the time school starts in the fall, . COVID-19 vaccinations for young students will not be mandatory

“We have a process in which we close off the room, and it is isolated from staff and also student use. The doors are locked and only accessible by maintenance crews for thorough cleaning,” Fountain said.

Following last week’s spring break, a significant portion of the district's student population was allowed to return to in-person learning on Monday. FUSD plans to operate its schools five days a week for the remainder of the semester.

This week's returnees included students in kindergarten, first, second, third, sixth, ninth and 12th grades, and students in specialized programs. The remaining student body is scheduled to return to the classroom Monday.

Students attending in-person class are required to follow certain COVID-19 mitigation protocols, such as wearing a face mask and maintaining physical distance. School staff have also been trained to monitor their student's symptoms, district officials said.

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