One staff member at Ferriday Lower Elementary test positive for COVID-19

Published 6:05 pm Wednesday, October 28, 2020

FERRIDAY — At least one staff member at Ferriday Lower Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19, and school officials said.

Whest Shirley, Concordia Parish School District superintendent, said one person at the school is under quarantine and the district is following protocols.

“We follow the rules,” Shirley said. “If someone is quarantined, positive or has been exposed, we go in and clean the room. We have a protocol we go through if a teacher or a person in a class is tested positive we call the parents — not the whole school — but in that class and let them know that we had a teacher (or student) was quarantined. The state says third grade and below don’t have to wear masks but every time I go to Ferriday Lower they are pretty diligent about wearing them.”

An anonymous email was sent by “a concerned Citizen” to various media organizations and school administrators Wednesday stating that Ferriday Lower Elementary school has “done nothing to make sure the staff or students are safe” when employees tested positive for COVID-19.

“Several employees have tested positive for Covid-19 and the administration has done nothing to make sure the staff or students are safe,” the sender wrote. “NO deep cleaning, no letter home to notify the parents of there were positive cases — Nothing. That’s totally unacceptable !!!”

Sandra Burton, principal at Ferriday Lower Elementary, said the allegations in the email are false and that the school is thoroughly cleaned and temperatures are checked on the bus before students come to school.

“You can ask any faculty or staff member,” Burton said. “We clean this building thoroughly. What they are saying is not true about Ferriday Lower.”

Burton said the school does not notify every parent if someone tests positive.

“Just because somebody tests positive doesn’t mean it came from the school. … We take the proper precautions and we notify the people that need to be notified. We follow all CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) guidelines and all health guidelines.”

According to data from the Louisiana Department of Health, between one and four students and no volunteers, faculty or staff members in the Concordia Parish School District have tested positive for COVID-19 the week of Oct. 19 through Oct. 25.

Six volunteers, faculty or staff members from the district and seven students in the district tested positive the week of Oct. 12 through Oct. 19, LDH reports.