Nick McWilliams reporting – With schools returning to session, some tips and guidelines from the Tuscarawas County Health Department can give a course of action for districts if a positive case of COVID-19 appears.

Social distancing, mask-wearing and deep sanitation have been the key highlights for school districts throughout creation of restart plans, but there has been limited conversation related to the event of a positive case of coronavirus within a school.

Health Commissioner Katie Seward says that students in close proximity throughout the day could potentially lead to spread, but health officials have noted there are ways around each child contacting dozens if not hundreds of others throughout the day.

“That’s why we’re really recommending that you keep assigned seats, that you do things in small groups, that you don’t switch things up [and] don’t change classes where you might have multiple different exposures throughout the day. Because our goal is not to quarantine an entire classroom or entire grade.”

Seward notes that proper notification will be given to parents and staff in the case of positive results, and that limited student movement can lead to more efficient contact tracing.

She adds that all schools have devised plans related to how to approach positive cases identified, with potential for differences in each district.

“It talks a lot about what their steps will be if an individual becomes symptomatic during the school day, whether that’s a staff member or a student. And how they’re going to appropriately isolate that person to evaluate their symptoms, and what recommendations they would make for the child or the staff member at that time.”

For parents looking for each school’s protocol, contact your local administrative building or refer to the district website.

More information from the Tuscarawas County Health Department is online at, or on their Facebook page.

Copyright WTUZ Radio Inc., 2020