Dowagiac Union High School reports positive COVID-19 cases

Published 11:16 am Tuesday, November 3, 2020

DOWAGIAC — Two Dowagiac Union High School students have tested positive for COVID-19.

According to Dowagiac Union Schools, the two students are not connected regarding exposure. No staff members will have to be quarantined but 26 students will have to be quarantined due to exposure. The school is currently closed for three days due to a shortage of staff and is scheduled to open Thursday, Nov. 5, though the decision to extend distance learning through the end of the week will be made by midday on Wednesday and shared with parents at that time. 

“The students involved have been contacted by our school nurse or the health department,” wrote Superintendent Jonathan Whan in a letter to parents Tuesday. “While we must protect the privacy of the persons involved, we believe it is best to communicate transparently with you so you can make well-informed decisions for your family.”

According to the letter, a key element in the assessment for who does or does not need to be quarantined is being within a 6-foot range of someone who has tested positive for more than 15 minutes. 

“If the health department determines further investigation is necessary for this event, the school or the health department will contact those individuals as well,” Whan wrote.

The announcement is the third this week from the district regarding positive COVID-19 cases.

The district announced Monday that a part-time instruction provider at Dowagiac Middle School and a third-party food service delivery person tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in three district food service persons having to quarantine.

“Our greatest priority is the safety of our students, staff and community members,” Whan wrote. “Please continue to take necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you. Iit is important to remember that children are greatly influenced by the reactions of adults when facing difficult circumstances. I encourage everyone to remain calm and to be empathic and respectful to those affected.”