WASECA — A teacher at one of Waseca’s public schools has tested positive for the novel coronavirus but has not been in the schools since well before he or she developed symptoms, according to Supt. Tom Lee.

Lee sent out a notification to the community early Saturday evening about two hours after receiving notification of the positive test involving the teacher, who he didn’t name.

“After consultation with the Minnesota Department of Health, this case does NOT meet the CDC definition of an exposure, since this person has not been in the district since Friday, March 13,” Lee wrote, referring to the Centers for Disease Control. “This person did not develop symptoms until March 17. As you remember, the schools were closed to all but essential staff through March 19th.”

The Department of Health indicated there is “no risk identified at this time” and that the school system does not need to stop on-site operations, which include teacher preparation for distance learning that is set to begin on March 30. The Jays Nest child care program and the community feeding program will continue, according to Lee.

Along with encouraging district residents to practice social distancing, hand washing and other measures aimed at reducing transmission of the virus, Lee quoted a legendary PBS-TV children’s show host: “Mr. Fred Rogers said, ‘When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”

“The paraprofessionals, food service staff, custodians, clerical, teachers, nurses, our bus drivers, administrators and all our staff are included in this category of people who are helping,” Lee wrote. “Together we will get through this.”

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