Whetstone Elementary School Employee Tests Positive for Coronavirus

March 24, 2020
Alex Tsironis
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An employee at Whetstone Elementary School in Montgomery Village has tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Per MCPS:

Dear MCPS Community:

The Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has confirmed with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) that an employee at Whetstone Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 (coronavirus). Based on its investigation, DHHS does not believe any students or staff were at risk of exposure from this employee. DHHS has notified all community members who may have been in close contact with this individual and provided direct monitoring and guidance.

We are sharing this information with the full MCPS community as it is the first positive test of an employee of which we are aware. As the availability of tests increase, we anticipate the number of positive tests will increase. DHHS officials will notify any impacted community members directly.

MCPS is in regular contact with the DHHS for the most accurate and up-to-date information. We will continue to follow guidance provided by the county and state health departments, including preventive measures, reporting protocols and appropriate communication with the community.

There is no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. It is therefore important to take everyday preventive steps that are recommended to slow the spread of respiratory illnesses like colds, flu and COVID-19:

  • Practice social distancing. Try to stay at least six feet away from people and avoid direct physical contact.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using standard cleaning practices.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, your sleeve or your elbow.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

Symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough or difficulty breathing. If you are feeling ill, stay home and call your doctor’s office. They will advise you based on the severity of your symptoms. Only go to the emergency room if your symptoms are severe. If you have additional questions, contact Montgomery County Disease Control at 240-777-1755.

As a reminder, all official announcements about positive COVID-19 tests in Montgomery County will be confirmed by county and state health officials and impacted community members will be contacted directly by DHHS.

Our thoughts are with our Whetstone colleague who has fallen ill from COVID-19. The health and safety of our community is important to us all. Please take care of yourselves and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

Montgomery County Public Schools

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