Peterson elementary reopened Friday, after the school was closed Thursday to sterilize the facility. At least one student at the school has tested positive with COVID-19, in relation to the recent outbreak on Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak.
All students and staff who were in contact with the affected student have been sent home, to do online school over the course of a 14-day quarantine period.
Larry LeDoux, Superintendent of Schools for the Kodiak Island Borough School District, says that these procedures are necessary and effective.
“Depending on the complexity of the case, we make a decision on we’re going to close the school. So if it’s written if the contact tracing is really easy to do, as it was, in this case, we just close for a day,” said LeDoux.
LeDoux says that he is pleased with the district’s response.
“We clean the building thoroughly, we find out who the student may or may not have had contact, we try to determine the time between the onset of symptoms and not, it’s fairly complex. But once we come back into the building, we’re confident that the building is as safe as it always was under these conditions,” said LeDoux
While he is optimistic about the district’s ability to respond to the pandemic, LeDoux cautions that this will likely not be the last time COVID-19 is seen in the Kodiak school system.
“This is probably going to happen again, at some point in time in different places of her district, you know, these, it’s an epidemic that’s growing in the state and Alaska. And, you know, we’re trying to be prepared for lots of different scenarios. And this week, we went through a straightforward one. And as we move forward, we’ll continue to prepare and work with our teachers and our aides and our school people, our families and our kids to create a safe environment,” said LeDoux.
Contact tracing at the school and at Coast Guard facilities remains ongoing.