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Northern York high school student tests positive for COVID-19

The Northern York County School District said Wednesday a high school student has tested positive for COVID-19.

Northern York County on Wednesday reported a high school student had tested positive for COVID-19 — the first case of the school year for the district.

And two more cases were confirmed on the same day for Red Lion Area Senior High School, which had previously reported two confirmed cases Sept. 7 and 8.

“This student has not been in school since last week when the student was sent home sick,” Northern Superintendent Steve Kirkpatrick said in a letter to families posted on the school’s website.

Red Lion officials noted those who tested positive at its high school are in isolation, and close contacts have been advised to quarantine.

Both districts will remain open at this time.

More:State refuses to detail 6 new COVID-19 deaths in York County

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A total of 10 districts — more than half of the county's 16 — have reported positive cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday.

Most have come from Dallastown Area and West York, which had six or more cases each — and the latter shut down its Trimmer Elementary School through Sept. 25.

Central York, Dallastown, Hanover Public, Northern, Red Lion, Spring Grove Area, South Western, West York, York City and York Suburban have reported cases.

At total of at least 32 positive cases — along with two presumed positive cases from York Suburban reported Tuesday — were confirmed in York County districts since schools reopened this fall.

A presumed positive case denotes an individual who was in contact with a confirmed case and showing symptoms.

Most districts have remained open, despite having confirmed cases. The only districtwide shutdown was at South Western for one week. York City and West York also had temporary shutdowns for individual schools.

More:State refuses to detail 6 new COVID-19 deaths in York County

More:York City 'discourages' Trunk or Treat due to COVID-19

Steven Kirkpatrick will be new superintendent at Northern York County School District effective July 1, 2020.

Kirkpatrick said Northern York High School will remain open after initial contact tracing and the proper safety protocols were put in place.

He also said officials are in close contact with the family and send well wishes to the affected student.

Kirkpatrick said the following steps have been taken:

  • The state Department of Health and its Epidemiology Team have assisted with the initial risk assessment and contact tracing;
  • Students and/or staff identified as having been in close contact have been notified by either the district or the department;
  • Appropriate quarantining/isolation measures have taken place for the student recovering from the illness and for those students determined to have been in close contact;
  • Thorough cleaning/disinfecting has taken place in all spaces visited by the student in addition to the heightened cleaning protocols in place for all school spaces.

“We are confident in the steps that have been taken to safeguard all our students, and we are thankful to our families for being careful to keep symptomatic children at home,” Kirkpatrick said.

Red Lion is also taking precautions, noting that affected areas had been cleaned and sanitized and contact tracing identified individuals for self-quarantine.

— Ron Musselman can be reached at rmusselman@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @ronmusselman8.