An Elgin
School District staff
member tested positive for
District Superintendent
Dianne Greif announced
the finding Wednesday
night, Oct. 7, on the district’s Facebook page.
“We had a staff
member who was notified
of exposure while away
from school on personal
business,” Greif said. “As
soon as he was notified, he
quarantined at home.”
The district reported
the exposure to the school
health nurse and the
Center for Human Development, La Grande, which
oversees public health for
the county.
“The CHD contact
asked us to quarantine his
family also, which was
done,” Greif said, adding
that contacts have been
identified and notified,
quarantined and tested
where necessary.
The schools doors will
remain open and students will continue with
in-person instruction.
“We followed all contact tracing logs, looked
at exposure in the district,
which was none in most
areas because of the quarantine at home,” Greif
said. “The process of utilizing the contact tracing
logs and making the determination that students
and staff were OK to continue in class was coordinated between myself, our
school nurse and CHD.”
Carrie Brogoitti, the
public health administrator for the Center for
Human Development,
said they followed the
process outlined by the
state education and health
“When we have cases
in schools we look at
the situation and coordinate with them individually,” Brogoitti said. “Ultimately, though, it is up to
the school and the Oregon
Department of Education to close the schools.
We have been in regular
communication with the
schools, like providing
them with regular updates
on COVID-19 activity
as it relates to the school
metrics, providing support on implementing the
ODE and (Oregon Health
Authority) guidance, and
answering specific questions about the virus and
situations that come up in
their schools.”
Before the start of
classes in the fall, every
district in Oregon had to
submit “Ready Schools,
Safe Learners” plans to
reopen schools and show
what actions they would
take to help mitigate the
spread of COVID-19 and
how they would respond
to a positive case.
Elgin’s plans included
notifying local health
authorities if a student or
staff member tested positive, quarantining the
person who tested positive
and implementing contact tracing of students
and staff for any potential
close contacts.
“I feel confident that
we did follow our blueprint and have, to the best
of our ability, assured a
safe environment for our
students and staff,” Greif
Greif and Brogoitti said
the investigation into the
positive case and contact
tracing continues.
“We want to stop the
spread to the greatest
extent possible so kids
can stay in school,” Brogoitti said. “Everything
is going the way w