MISSOULA — A COVID-19 case has been confirmed at Sentinel High School in Missoula.
School administrators sent out a letter stating they were informed about the positive case by the Missoula City-County Health Department on Thursday.
The letter notes the "individual was not in our facilities during the period of time when they would have been considered infectious." A case investigation is underway and the health department is performing contact tracing at this time.
According to the letter sent out by Sentinel High School principal Ryan Rettig, "the health department has identified a small number of close contacts by talking with the confirmed positive case." He added that at this time closing the school has not been recommended.
MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson told MTN News he couldn't confirm if the case is in a student or staff member, but says is the first confirmed case at MCPS, and the school district wants to be transparent.
"It's something I think that folks are going to be curious about and they're going to react to. It's part of the reason why we've worked so diligently to get the message out as quickly as we could so that parents felt like they had the message as quickly as we received it from the health department," Watson said,.
Watson also says the schools are a reflection of the broader community, and he says with continued active cases in Missoula County that it's not shocking that there is a case associated with the schools. Watson added the hybrid class model is going well, and MCPS will decide on moving to the next phase by the end of this month.
Read the full letter sent out below:
Dear Sentinel High School families:
I am writing to inform you that we have a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our school. We were informed by the Missoula City-County Health Department (MCCHD) about this positive case on Thursday, September 3rd.
The individual was not in our facilities during the period of time when they would have been considered infectious.
MCCHD has started a case investigation and is in the process of conducting contact tracing to identify close contacts to the positive case. The health department has identified a small number of close contacts by talking with the confirmed positive case. MCCHD will not share personal information about the confirmed positive case or close contacts as that information is protected by law.
Based on the results of the case investigation, a school closure is not recommended.
We will follow MCCHD guidance and directions regarding individuals released from quarantine and/or isolation. We will not allow the individual and any close contacts back into school facilities until they are released from isolation or quarantine by the health department. We continue our thorough and frequent cleaning and disinfection of all areas throughout our school facilities.
It is important to remember that you would have been contacted individually and privately by MCCHD if your student is considered a close contact.
- If you have COVID-19 related questions, please contact the MCCHD help line: 258-INFO.
- If you have medical questions or concerns regarding your student, please contact your medical provider.
Sentinel High School
Missoula City-County Health Department