SPRINGFIELD -- Effingham County School District officials were notified Thursday afternoon that staff members in an office complex at Effingham County Middle School tested positive for COVID-19.
"We have done extensive research to determine which individuals may have been in close contact with the affected staff members," Superintendent Dr. Yancy Ford sent Friday in an email sent to parents. " Per the Georgia Department of Public Health, a person is defined as being in close contact with an affected individual if he/she has remained within six feet of the COVID-19 positive individual for fifteen or more minutes during that individual’s infectious period. Our investigation has revealed that four students and nine staff members were in close contact with the affected ECMS staff members, and those individuals and their families have been informed.
"We have also informed the Department of Public Health as required."
None of the individuals identified as having had close contact with the staffers have been confirmed positive for COVID-19. However, per DPH requirements, students who have had close contact must quarantine for fourteen days. Staff members identified as working in a critical need area may continue to work but must wear a mask 100 percent of the time, stay six feet away from other individuals, and monitor symptoms.
As a reminder, students and staff identified as being in close contact will receive a call from school district staff prior to any DPH contact. Families who are contacted by DPH prior to receiving a call from our staff should immediately contact our office.
"The Effingham County School District will continue to work with DPH officials to carefully evaluate necessary ongoing actions in this case," Ford said. "Our employees will keep all medical information confidential and will only disclose on a need-to-know basis."
Schools are set to continue as scheduled and students will be encouraged to wear masks.
Ford encouraged people with concerns or questions to call him or Executive Director of Human Resources Susan Hartzog at (912) 754-6491.