4 Duncan Elementary School meal distribution site workers test positive for COVID-19

Local News

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) – District Five Schools of Spartanburg County officials said four Duncan Elementary School meal distribution site workers have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Tuesday morning.

School officials said a District 5 employee informed administrators last week that they had tested positive for the coronavirus. The school then notified DHEC for guidance on how to handle the situation.

DHEC officials interviewed the employee to determine the “close contact circle” of any other employees who may have been exposed. According to DHEC, the close contact circle is determined by who has been within six feet of the infected person for at least 15 minutes.

Once the close contact circle was determined, those within the circle were told they would need to quarantine for 14 days.

As of Tuesday, total of four District 5 employees who all worked at the same distribution center had tested positive for the virus. The same protocol for the close contact circle was followed after each employee tested positive, according to school officials.

“From the beginning of this we started offering PPE’s to all of those employees that work at those sites and they’re able to wear those if they choose to.” Spartanburg District Five, Melissa Robinette said.

According to school officials, as long as they continue to following DHEC guidelines, the District will be able to continue to distribute food from the site. DHEC does not consider the act of meal distribution to be “prolonged exposure.”

School officials wanted to clarify the term “meal distribution worker” does not necessarily mean the employee was preparing the food. The title covers various positions, including cafeteria workers, bus drivers, teaching assistants and school resource officers.

“We know that so many of our kids, if they’re not in school, they’re not receiveing those meals and that includes the summer time too, so were trying to make those meals available to them.” Robinette said.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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