A case of COVID-19 connected to Floyd County High School

(Stock photo)

Social media lit up Monday over a notice to parents from Floyd County’s School Superintendent that “an individual who is associated with Floyd County High School has been diagnosed with COVID-10.”

The notice continues:

The person has not been on school premises for the last seven days. The New River Health District confirmed the case and is investigating. At this time, it is believed that no direct exposures have occurred. Floyd County High School will remain open. We are working closely with the New River Health District to identify anyone who had close contact with the person to determine if they might have been exposed to the virus that causes COVID-19.

Along with the message that was sent to parents and posted on Facebook and the School System’s website, was “we will continue to be open and as transparent as possible when communicating COVID-related news.”

On social media, a number of parents of students attending Floyd County High School have expressed unhappiness at the way this was handled. Some have contacted us via phone and email. At least one has requested, and was granted, permission from the schools to move their child to “all virtual” status until further notice and others say they have or will email the school superintendent and members of the school board to question the way the matter was handled.

Most high school students in Floyd County attend school in person once a week with 25 percent in classrooms on each of Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday. Even so, some parents say that is one day too many to keep their kids safe.

Concerned parents, however, say the risk to others is still too great. In Virginia, 10,166 cases of COVID-19 have infected those aged 10-19 and children aged 9 and younger have tested positive in 4,370, according to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

In the New River district, with includes Floyd County, 255 of those aged 10-19 have tested positive, along with 20 ages 9 and under. As of Monday, the virus has not killed anyone under age 69 in New River.

On Tuesday, Aug. 25 — seven days ago — the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) reported 125 cases of COVID-19 in Floyd County. On the following day (Aug. 26), 12 new cases appeared, raising the total to 139.

Another spike — 8 cases — appeared on Aug. 29. By month’s end, the county’s count is 153, 18 new cases in just seven days. Apparently, the “individual associated with Floyd County High School” was one of those 18 cases. In a county with 15,000 residents, what are the chances that the “individual” had contact with a student or someone else with that individual?

Virginia Tech says at least 178 people “associated” with that university tested positively for the virus a few days ago. In Radford, home of that city’s namesake university, than 50 have tested positive in just the last week.

In Virginia, more than 120,000 now have COVID-19. The count of those hospitalized since the pandemic began is 9,569 in Monday’s count and is closing in on 10,000. Deaths continue to mount with 2,580 listed for the Old Dominion in Monday’s report from VDH.

Worldwide, the death toll is expected to pass 1 million before this week is out.

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