(December 14, 2020)
Dear Chatham Families,
We were informed that a Mary E. Dardess Elementary School staff member has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. The staff member was last on campus on December 4. The Columbia County Department of Health (DOH) has informed us that because more than 48 hours passed between when the staff member was last on campus and when that person began showing symptoms, there is no need for contact tracing within the District and no one needs to quarantine due to possible exposure in the school setting. All in-person instruction will continue as normal.
While we understand that you may want more details, privacy laws prohibit us from sharing or confirming personally identifiable information about anyone who has tested positive. We appreciate your understanding of this.
Please continue to be assured that the health, welfare, and safety of our students and staff remain our priority. Our schools follow all of the health and safety precautions outlined in our reopening plan, including mask wearing, social distancing, health screenings, and enhanced cleaning and disinfecting. Any student or staff member who is confirmed to have or is suspected of having COVID-19, or who has been identified by the DOH as a close contact to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, is not allowed on campus until cleared by the DOH. We notify our families about confirmed student and staff cases. We continue to work in close partnership with our public health partners and will continue to follow the guidance of state and local authorities regarding our response to the ongoing pandemic.
With cases on the rise in our region, it is important for us all to continue to take precautions at home as well. Please wear a mask, stay socially distant, avoid exposure to people not from your household, wash your hands often, and keep your children home if they or someone in your household becomes sick.