Bishop McDevitt student tests positive for COVID-19 following graduation ceremony

Coronavirus in Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Bishop McDevitt says a student tests positive for COVID-19 after the school’s Graduation Ceremony last Thursday.

The school received the information from a parent. They say the student had not shown symptoms of coronavirus at the time of the graduation walk ceremony.

Principal Vincent Harper sent out an email to the district:

Dear Families,

In our commitment to maintain transparency with regards to our Covid-19 mitigation efforts, I would like to send this notification out to inform our parents and community of information received regarding a positive Covid-19 test result after our Graduation Ceremony last Thursday. We received Information from a parent that several of our graduated seniors went on a trip together within Pennsylvania. These students did attend graduation. No students or parents in attendance have reported they were outside of Pennsylvania or in a state the Governor has deemed a recommended quarantine/hotspot state for Coronavirus. The student had not shown symptoms of Coronavirus at the time of our Graduation Walk Ceremony. Due to the symptoms, awareness, and sensitivity to the Coronavirus, the parent did take the student to be tested and the results were positive for Covid-19. I thank the parent for their forthright communication and immediate notification regarding this sensitive issue. These are the efforts we appreciate from our McDevitt family which make our community such a special place.  

We have contacted the Department of Health and followed our Covid-19 response procedures. This instance does not affect our plans on reopening in the fall. We continue to plan on providing our current parents and students with a choice to attend school in person or virtually in the fall. We believe our Health and Safety plan, which will be placed on our website shortly, is comprehensive and will mitigate transmission of Coronavirus as best we can. While our plan mitigates transmission, I remind all of our community to be mindful that as long as there is COVID-19 in the community, there are no strategies that can completely eliminate the risk of transmission within the school population. Our goal is to keep transmission as low as possible to safely continue school activities and provide our students with a conscientious and rigorous Catholic Education. Based on public health status within our state or county, the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Department of Health, or the Diocese of Harrisburg may designate a phase of reopening (Red, Yellow, Green) which may require our reopening plans to be amended. Bishop McDevitt will implement plans to communicate any concerns about possible community or school spread of the virus should there be staff or student exposure in the school. Bishop McDevitt’s response to school and community exposure will be evaluated regularly to determine school opening and closure responses. Responses to exposure will include: remaining fully open; closing school for short periods of time (ranging from 24 hours to 2 weeks) to implement quarantine and sanitation efforts; restructuring attendance schedule for cohorts of students to alternate days of face to face attendance; and possible long term closures. 

Principal Vincent Harper

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