Second Greencastle-Antrim Middle School student tests positive for COVID-19

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot
A second Greencastle-Antrim Middle School student has tested positive for COVID-19.

A second positive case of COVID-19 has been detected in the Greencastle-Antrim School District and the superintendent is asking families to help with the emotional side of the virus.

Both cases involve middle school students. The first was reported on Sunday, Oct. 18, and the second on Friday, Oct. 23.

"It is with a heavy heart that I share a second positive case in our middle school," Dr. Lura Hanks, superintendent, wrote in a letter to families Friday evening. "As with the prior case, we will move through the same steps in notifying those impacted directly, as well as indirectly. We are entering a season where the spread of illness will likely see a continued increase in cases."

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In announcing the first case, Hanks explained the student was quarantining and Mark Herman, middle school principal, worked through the student's day to determine who else may have been exposed.

"Exposure is being within 6 feet of this student for more than 15 minutes without a mask," Hanks explained. Students or staff exposed were required to quarantine for 14 days.

The district's health and safety plan addresses the logistical steps that need to be taken, but in Friday's letter Hanks asked parents to help with the emotional impact.

"I am now reaching out to you as families and ask that you sit with your children and discuss empathy," Hanks wrote. "As I am making calls and talking with families, my heart breaks for the children that are bearing the burden of quarantine and possible illness. For our children, losing two weeks of socialization (and the routine that we opened schools to provide) seems like a lifetime. Fear of potential sickness and loss of friends can be emotionally draining. It will take all of us, including our children, to feel that weight for their friends and to lift them up. We know that adolescents can sometimes handle situations of fear and uncertainty in so many different ways.  

"Remind your children that we are taking safety precautions to mitigate the spread," the superintendent continued. "And please, help them to understand that no one is to blame for the virus occurring in our community. Let us hope that it passes over us with ease and that we can continue to protect our most vulnerable.

"May we continue together in support of our neighbors and friends and walk side by side in this journey. Remind yourselves and your family to be empathetic and kind, to wear a face mask appropriately, and to wash hands frequently. 

"We are stronger together," she concluded.