WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — A construction employee working at the Crestwood School District has tested positive for COVID-19, the district confirmed on Facebook.
“We are confident no students or staff members have been exposed, as the employee was contained to the inside of the building,” the Facebook post read.
Eyewitness News was scheduled to meet with school officials about their cleaning measures ahead of the fall semester when Crestwood School District Superintendent Robert Mehalick confirmed the positive case and the cleaning measures kicked into high gear.
“So we were notified that one of the subcontractors and there’s several subcontractors on a project this size tested positive for COVID-19,” Mehalick said.
Mehalick says the district is confident that no students or school staff were exposed to the individual. The individual worked in the middle school building on the heating and air conditioning systems.
Out of precaution, buildings on the secondary campus of the district were closed and a deep cleaning was ordered.
“So we have a few guys in here today spraying everything down with sanitizer,” Scott Brumagin, Supervisor Crestwood Buildings and Ground said. “The whole middle school where the gentleman was working. Then later this afternoon we have a second crew go through all the rooms again.”
While the buildings were shut down, outside areas such as sport fields remain open. Outdoor activities on the campus have not been canceled.
“There had been no students in the building all summer,” Mehalick said. “We do have staff members in the building however none of the staff were anywhere near the contracting sites.”
This unexpected situation comes as Crestwood and other school districts in the region develop plans for keeping their students safe. All districts must decide when and if students and staff can return to the buildings.
“It’s going to be a challenge. In the past we only had a handful of day custodians and the majority of our crew came in at night after school normally. Well now during the day we are going to keep cleaning high touch areas, restrooms. Our night shift people will come in to keep up with the daily cleaning,” Brumagin said.
Classes are set to resume in the Crestwood School District on September 2 in a hybrid set up, some students in-person in classrooms while others will be online.
Leah Dietrich will be a junior at Crestwood High School this year. She say’s she’s not optimistic that she will be in class for very long.
“I honestly don’t know what’s going to happen I mean I don’t think school is going to last that long with contracting COVID and everything,” Dietrich said.
Mehalick says that education during the pandemic is a learning experience for everyone involved. They are learning something new each and every day.
“Either minute by minute we know that students and staff are going to get sick it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will have COVID but we have to treat everything like it’s under suspicion to COVID,” Mehalick said.