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Probable cases reported at Pied Piper, AHS

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

ALPENA — Two school districts are responding to news of probable coronavirus cases within their districts, while local public health officials warned of one new exposure on Monday.

One student or staff member at Pied Piper School is self-isolating after being identified as a probable COVID-19 case, Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Superintendent Scott Reynolds said in a letter to the school community on Monday.

Reynolds said he could not clarify whether the probable case was a student or a staff member because of medical privacy laws. He said that, in this instance, a probable case is defined as someone who was exposed to a confirmed positive COVID-19 case in the community and is now symptomatic.

“We have been advised that anyone who came into close contact with this individual within 48 hours of symptom onset may be required to quarantine,” Reynolds said in the letter. “Based on this information, we have no evidence that anyone came into close contact with the individual at Pied Piper School within this time frame.”

In the meantime, Pied Piper School will remain open. Cleaning and disinfecting of the exposed location or locations has been completed.

Reynolds said school officials are working closely with District Health Department No. 4 to identify close contacts of the individual. A person is considered a close contact when they are within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before the onset of symptoms.

Anyone identified as a close contact will be notified by the Health Department as part of the disease investigative process.

An Alpena High School staff member has also been identified as a probable case. Alpena Public Schools officials said on Saturday they were notified by District Health Department No. 4 at the close of business Friday that the staff member had been identified as a probable case.

Health Department officials, after a thorough investigation, directed four school staff members to quarantine, a district press release said.

Alpena Public Schools also announced on its Facebook page late Monday night that certain students at Thunder Bay Junior High and Lincoln Elementary were placed on quarantine by District Health Department No. 4 starting Tuesday.

Quarantined students and their families have been contacted and will be provided additional information tomorrow by either APS or DHD No. 4. No other information was immediately available.

Meanwhile, local public health officials on Monday announced 40 more Northeast Michigan residents were infected with COVID-19 and one new location where the public may have been exposed to the disease.

Those who shopped at Walmart from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 29 should monitor for symptoms of the disease for 14 days, and notify their doctor if experiencing symptoms.

State Health officials reported one staff member at MediLodge of Greenview is infected with COVID-19.

That means a total of 402 Northeast Michigan residents have been infected with the disease, including 201 Alpena residents, 59 Alcona County residents, 47 Montmorency County residents, and 95 Presque Isle County residents.

Seven new recoveries were also announced, including three more Alpena County residents and four more Presque Isle County residents. Of the infected in Northeast Michigan residents, 196 have recovered from the disease and 18 have died.

No new deaths were reported by local public health officials Monday.

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