Henrico Schools employee present at meal distributions tests positive for COVID-19

Henrico Schools employee present at meal distributions tests positive for COVID-19
HCPS recommends the following infection control measures to prevent the spread of these illnesses in the school population. (Source: HCPS)

HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - A Henrico County Public Schools employee who was present at meal distributions at Longan Elementary School has tested positive for coronavirus.

The school became aware of the case on Thursday, May 28. According to the district, the employee was at the school’s “grab and go” event on Friday, May 22.

While coronavirus can be spread through respiratory droplets in the air, through coughing sneezing or physical contact, Richmond-Henrico Health DIstrict Director Dr. Danny Avula says the coronavirus cannot be contracted by ingesting food.

“This really can’t be transmitted through the ingestion of food. The prevailing thought is that your stomach acid will immediately kill the virus, but contacting a food container and then wiping that into your nose or eyes could be a way of getting the disease," Avula said.

Although the health department told HCPS that the risk is low, anyone who visited the Longan Elementary School is encouraged to isolate and monitor their symptoms.

The school will undergo a thorough sanitizing process prior to Friday’s meal distribution event. Avula says the person who contracted the virus is also quarantining at home.

“All of the other individuals, none of whom were showing symptoms who were with that person, have also been quarantined as well. The County is taking this very seriously and I have very little concern of spread.”

That new staff will be also be subjected to health and temperature screenings every day before coming to work.

This is the second person to contract COVID-19 at a food distribution site. The first was an employee at Mary Munford Elementary in Richmond at their computer distribution site.

Copyright 2020 WWBT. All rights reserved.