School staffer COVID-19 cases open debate about public, private information

Positive coronavirus cases are popping up across the DMV -- many are school district employees.

Their positive test could have a wider impact since often school staff are around children and families.

This all can complicate what is considered private information versus the need to inform the public.

FOX 5’s Tisha Lewis reports a Loudoun County Public Schools transportation employee who reportedly works for the district’s meal program has tested positive for the coronavirus.  

The school district says the staff member is self-isolating.

In a letter to the school community Thursday night, Superintendent Eric Williams said the staff member last worked in the Potomac Falls and Dominion High School region on Thursday, March 26.  The letter was also sent to River Bend Middle School, Seneca Ridge Middle School, as well as Algonkian, among others.

The school district says the person then started exhibiting symptoms last Saturday.

Regarding informing the public, Loudoun County Public Schools says a contact investigation will be conducted to identify and communicate with individuals believed to be close contacts of this staff member, if there are any. 

The district also says they’re not aware of any staff members or members of the public who will meet the Virginia Department of Health's definition of a close contact.

The Virginia Department of Health defines close contacts as people who have had close contact within six feet for 15 minutes or more with a person who tests positive for the coronavirus starting from 48 hours before the onset of symptoms.

The state’s health department says there currently is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 by food. 

Foodborne exposure to this virus is not known to be a route of transmission.

The district began providing meals to students on March 13 after schools were initially ordered closed.