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Sanborn, Ella White students showing symptoms of coronavirus infection

Courtesy Image An illustration of the coronavirus provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

ALPENA — A third-grade student at Sanborn Elementary School who was recently exposed to the coronavirus is now showing symptoms and another unidentified student at Ella White Elementary School is exhibiting symptoms, district officials say.

Sanborn Principal Pauline Burnham on Monday sent a letter home to parents, notifying them of the exposure in teacher Laycie Bushey’s class. District Health Department No. 4 is informing all students who are considered “close contacts” by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, the letter says.

The CDC considers a close contact an individual who was within six feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before the onset of illness until the time the infected patient is isolated.

Alpena Public Schools Board of Education President Gordon Snow said he was notified of the exposure at Sanborn. Snow said he was also notified Monday morning of a similar incident at Ella White Elementary School, where a student was also recently exposed to COVID-19 and is now exhibiting symptoms.

Calls to Burnham and interim Alpena Public Schools Superintendent Susan Wooden were not immediately returned.

Because the two students were the first the district had encountered, Snow said he was unclear about the exact protocol district officials will use moving forward.

The letter from Sanborn says confidentiality laws prevent the school from providing personally identifying information about students or staff who test positive for any disease, including COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus.

“It is our role to tell all the families of Mrs. Bushey’s classroom at Sanborn Elementary School that we are moving forward under the guidance of District Health Department No. 4, and that all measures have been taken to protect the wellbeing of your child(ren) by quarantining with a return to school of Oct. 5, 2020,” the letter says.

The letter encourages parents to monitor for the onset of symptoms related to COVID-19, including fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headache, diarrhea, new fatigue or loss of taste or smell.

Parents are encouraged to contact their medical provider if there are any changes in their child’s health.

The school district did not make the letter available to the public via its website or Facebook. No Northeast Michigan cases are reported on the state’s list of school outbreaks.

RC drive-thru testing Sept. 29

A drive-thru coronavirus testing event is planned for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 29 at the Rogers City Marina, 270 N. Lake St.

The testing is free and available to any Michigan resident, regardless of symptoms, and a doctor’s referral is not needed.

Results will be available through an online portal and any individual with a positive test will be called by District Health Department No. 4.

The testing is possible because of a joint effort between the Health Department and the Michigan National Guard.

Visit michigan.gov/coronavirustest to learn more.

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