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School nutrition worker tests positive for COVID-19, co-workers sent home, Guilford County Schools says

School nutrition worker tests positive for COVID-19, co-workers sent home, Guilford County Schools says

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GREENSBORO — A Guilford County Schools nutrition worker tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, the district confirmed Wednesday.

Chief of Staff Nora Carr said the worker attended a small in-kitchen training at a school on Monday, before testing positive for the virus. 

She said the county health department contacted co-workers who were potentially exposed. Those workers, as well as the one who tested positive, will need clearance from the health department or their health care provider before they can come back to work, she said. 

She declined to identify the school in this case but said the district would likely disclose that information in a case of wider spread.  

Potential exposure to the virus has led the district to send some employees home on several occasions since schools closed to in-person classes in March because of COVID-19, Carr said.  

This particular case arose just before many district staff were set to return to work on Wednesday. And it comes at a time when the Guilford County Association of Educators and some school board members were raising concerns about requiring teachers to conduct remote learning from the school buildings.

A school spokesman confirmed Wednesday that the district is calling for teachers to work from the school buildings throughout the remote learning period scheduled to go at least till Oct. 20. That's unless the state reverts to the more restrictive Phase One of the governor's reopening plan, he said. Teachers can get permission from their principal to work from home under special circumstances. 

Carr said the case would not affect the start of remote learning on Monday. She said she hoped employees would focus on the district having protocols in place to protect health and safety. 

The district's response to future instances of a staff member testing positive for COVID-19 could vary on a case-by-case basis, she said. For example, she said sometimes they may need to close a building or area for cleaning while in other cases they could do the cleaning overnight. 

In this case, she said, the employee was not showing symptoms and had passed a health screening and temperature check. They and their co-workers in the training were wearing masks. 

They entered and left the school through the door to the kitchen, she said, and the training area and any other areas the employee visited were cleaned and sanitized. The building reopened to staff the next day. 

Contact Jessie Pounds at 336-373-7002 and follow @JessiePounds on Twitter.​

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