Five Harmon Middle School teachers in Aurora quarantined after positive COVID-19 case

Four test negative, teaching remotely

April Helms
Kent Weeklies
Five teachers have been asked to quarantine after a positive COVID-19 case was found. Four, who tested negative, are still teaching remotely.

AURORA -- One teacher has tested positive for COVID-19 and four others were asked to quarantine after an exposure last week. 

Superintendent Michael Roberto said that a seventh-grade teacher started to feel sick, with symptoms aligning with COVID-19. This teacher was tested for COVID-19 on Monday, and the test came back positive. Roberto said this teacher had been feeling fine on Aug. 21, when at school.

"While at school, the teacher did work closely with five other Harmon teachers," Roberto said. "Four of the five teachers, like the teacher who is ill, will remain home in quarantine for the next two weeks. The fifth teacher was cleared by the Portage County Department of Health to come to school."

School Board President Gerald Kohanski said that the exposure happened about a week before schools had opened, so no students were impacted. The first official day of school for all students was Wednesday. 

The five teachers asked to quarantine are teaching remotely, co-teaching with a substitute, Roberto said. “They wanted to do that to make sure the students had a positive experience.”

Roberto said that Harmon Middle School families were sent an email notice on Wednesday.

When the Portage County Health District is alerted to a positive case of COVID-19, they contact the individual and interview them to see who they might have been in contact with, Roberto said.

The health district gets its information from sources such as doctor's offices and schools. The person who has tested positive will be asked whom they've been in contact with. The health district will then work to determine if those who have been in contact with this person were within 6 feet or less for more than 15 minutes in a 48 hour period. If someone falls in that criteria, they will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. 

If someone tests positive for COVID-19, they are told to isolate themselves for 10 days; they can return to work after that time and after they have been symptom-free for 24 hours, Roberto said.

All five teachers "are feeling fine," Roberto said.

Reporter April Helms can be reached at ahelms@recordpub.com