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COVID-19 cases seen at schools

ESCANABA — Two Escanaba schools responded in different ways to the news that one student at each school had tested positive for COVID-19 Thursday.

At about 5 p.m. Wednesday, Holy Name Catholic School was notified by an elementary student’s parents that their child had been diagnosed with COVID-19. Public Health, Delta and Menominee Counties (PHDM) called the school shortly thereafter.

“They explained the contact tracing process … and they had a number of questions for me,” Principal Joe Carlson said.

However, Carlson did not think there was enough time to thoroughly investigate the situation and go through the contact tracing process before the school day was scheduled to start on Thursday.

“I decided to close school for one day to allow time to complete the contact tracing process and work with the health department,” he said.

Carlson received results from PHDM Thursday afternoon.

“We will be quarantining a class that was in close contact with the student, but we will be opening tomorrow,” he said at that time.

Escanaba Area High School also took action Thursday after learning that a high school student had tested positive.

“One student was positive, and then we had several close contacts,” Superintendent Coby Fletcher said.

Fletcher said the student who tested positive and their close contacts have been quarantined, and noted the close contacts had not tested positive themselves. The school’s response to this situation was based on direction it received from PHDM.

“We work with the health department when we do this — the school doesn’t determine who the close contacts were,” Fletcher said.

While the school had no plans to close as of Thursday afternoon, Fletcher said efforts to keep its building as clean as possible were ongoing.

“The school is continuing to clean and sanitize, and we just do our best to work with what happens as it occurs,” he said.

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