The Greene Valley State School for the Severely Disabled reopened Friday after a brief closure following concerns about COVID-19 exposure.
The state-run school at 1601 E. Pythian St., near Evangel University, temporarily shut down Wednesday afternoon.
Greene Valley is home to students, ages 5-21, with severe physical, intellectual and developmental disabilities. A portion of the students are nonverbal, rely on the use of wheelchairs or are medically fragile.
“As a precautionary measure, Greene Valley State School was closed for cleaning,” said Mallory McGowin, chief communications officer for the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
The school was closed Thursday and students, who typically learn in person, shifted to virtual learning for the day.
McGowin said the move was warranted “after it was determined that staff members were potentially exposed to an individual who is presumed to be positive with COVID-19.”
It was unclear if any staff members were tested and if the results were known.
She said the building closure also allowed for contact tracing to take place.
“Through that investigation, no close contacts were identified for quarantine,” McGowin said. As a result, the school reopened Friday.
On Wednesday, the day the concern was raised, 27 students and 30 teachers and staff members were in the building.
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McGowin said the school notified students’ parents and guardians using the state’s form for “Possible exposure to infectious disease or parasite,” which provides general details about COVID-19 and a list of symptoms. She said it was sent Thursday.
“Additionally, school staff members contacted families by phone to notify them of the possible exposure and to discuss virtual instruction and materials,” she said.
Claudette Riley is the education reporter for the News-Leader. Email news tips to email@example.com.