DC Elementary School Student Tests Negative for the Coronavirus

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Parents and staff of a D.C. elementary school were sent a letter Thursday morning informing them an elementary school student was diagnosed with the coronavirus, but that 10-year-old student has since tested has since tested negative.

The student attends Rocketship Rise Academy Public Charter School in Southeast D.C., which has been closed since Friday due to the pandemic.

Rocketship Rise said in a statement Thursday evening that it sent the letter because the family reported to the school the student had the virus.

Mayor Muriel Bowser said the 10-year-old's family was instructed to get a test after the mayor's office and the D.C. Department of Health couldn't confirm a positive test.

Read the statement from the school:

“There was no misinformation. We stand behind our original statement, which reads, 'Today, we were informed by a family that one of their children enrolled at Rocketship Rise Academy has been diagnosed with presumed COVID-19. We immediately contacted DC Health and they are working to verify the details of this possible case.'

"We notified our families because we received a signed letter from a student’s physician diagnosing the student with presumed COVID-19. We felt a moral obligation to immediately alert our families, out of concern for their health and safety.


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"We have been in direct communication with the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Office yesterday and continue to work with them and DC Health. As the District and our school community face new challenges, we remain committed to maintaining clear lines of communication with our families.”

Read the letter the school's principal sent to parents below:

Today, we were informed by a Rise family that one of their children has been diagnosed with presumed COVID-19. We immediately contacted DC Health and they are working to verify the details of this possible case. We are sharing this information with you now out of an abundance of caution. There is nothing more important than the safety and well-being of our families, staff and community members. The student is taking necessary precautions and following the advice of their medical professional. Because of HIPAA law and out of privacy to the student and their family, we cannot share the student’s name. DC Health will take the lead on outreach to any students and/or staff who may be at risk due to contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. We are continuing to follow all guidelines and recommendations of local health authorities and the Center for Disease Control to help control the spread of the virus. Our schools have been closed since last Friday, March 13th in order to protect public health. As a reminder, please continue to follow the guidelines of the CDC and DC Health.

These include:
1) if you are showing symptoms (mild respiratory illness with: fever, cough, shortness of breath) or have any other concerns, please call your primary care physician; and

2) continue to be vigilant about personal hygiene and 3) practice social distancing whenever possible. We are closely monitoring this situation and will provide additional updates as soon as they are available.

Thank you,
Corey Lewis
Principal, Rocketship Rise Academy

Stay with News4 and for updates to this developing story.

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