Two students at Denver’s East High School who were exposed to a man who tested presumptive positive for the new coronavirus are under self-quarantine, according to a letter sent to East High families Saturday.
“The family has shared that both students are healthy and are not showing any symptoms of the virus,” says the letter from East High Principal John Youngquist.
The school will not be closed, a district spokesman confirmed.
“As the students have shown no symptoms of the virus, health officials have advised that all school activities can continue as scheduled and there is low risk of the virus spreading,” the letter says. “Health officials have advised us to ensure the entire campus gets a deep and thorough cleaning, which is happening right now.”
A message posted on the school’s website Sunday says the facilities department “has been hard at work through this day providing for a ‘deep clean’ of the school building. We will continue to have tissues and Clorox wipes available in the main office.”
The man who tested presumptive positive for COVID-19 is a family friend of the students’. He had visited the students’ home earlier in the week, before he was diagnosed, the message says. He immediately informed the family of his diagnosis, it says.
“After consulting their family physician, the family has told us that they are following the CDC guidelines and are self-quarantining their two students for the next 7-14 days,” the letter says. During that time, the students “will not be attending any classes or events at East High School.”
East is Denver’s biggest school serving more than 2,500 students.
Teachers of the two students were told the news by email Friday evening, the message says.
As of Sunday, eight people in Colorado have tested positive for the coronavirus, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. No new cases were identified over the weekend after a number of presumptive positive cases were announced on Friday.
The eight cases include two in Denver. One is a man in his 40s who is the parent of a student at the private St. Anne’s Episcopal School in Denver, which closed early on Friday for a deep cleaning. The man is also a member of the Denver Country Club, and had visited the club before becoming symptomatic, according to the Denver Post.
The other Denver resident diagnosed with coronavirus is a woman in her 70s.
Another of the cases is a student in Douglas County southeast of Denver who recently returned from a trip to the Philippines. Public health officials do not believe the student attended school since returning from abroad. A school district official said the student was not on a school trip.
The virus is spread by people breathing in droplets emitted from infected sneezes or coughs, and also between people who are in close contact, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It is also thought to spread by someone touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their mouth or nose.
It appears that children face less risk in contracting the illness, and tend to get less severely ill from the virus.