Updated March 19, 2020 - 4:46 pm
A Las Vegas elementary school has reported the Clark County School District’s first case of COVID-19.
Heard Elementary School, a magnet school in Sunrise Manor, informed parents late Wednesday that a member of the “school family” has tested positive for the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
The message did not address when the person tested positive.
Anyone who had close contact with the patient will be contacted by the Southern Nevada Health District, the message said.
Deep cleaning and disinfecting of the campus was completed Wednesday, according to a message posted on the school’s Facebook page Thursday. Like all CCSD schools, it remains closed until at least April 13.
Kristine Scott, who has custody of her granddaughter, a first-grader at Heard, said she has not slept since she learned of the case Wednesday night.
Her attempts to find out more information have been fruitless, Scott said, as the health district cited federal privacy laws when she asked about the staff position or grade level of the person who tested positive. She added that she posed those questions to CCSD as well, but did not receive an answer.
CCSD representatives told the Review-Journal Thursday they could not provide more information due to privacy laws.
Scott said the health district told her that if her grandchild was not exhibiting symptoms, a test for COVID-19 would not be approved, and if she was, it would be up to the family’s health care provider to recommend a test.
“She would have already been exposed, as would both my husband and I, but the fear factor and not knowing ‘until symptoms show up’ is very frustrating,” Scott said. “It’s bad enough to have to go through what everyone is having to deal with, but just a reassurance that ‘yes, your child was in a classroom with a positive tested educator’ or ‘no, that educator was on a floor up in different classrooms’ would be good to know.”
Scott’s granddaughter is fine with no symptoms, she said, though her caretakers worry she could be a carrier of the virus without displaying symptoms.
“She is our priority and always will be, so (we’re) keeping a close eye out,” Scott said.
Vicki Kreidel, a second-grade teacher at the school, said Heard custodial staff work harder than people realize, but that she hopes they get some help with cleaning.
“Also if and when we return to campus I hope all classrooms are supplied with cleaning supplies so we can continue to minimize contagions inside our school,” Kreidel said, adding that she felt disappointed over a lack of preparedness districtwide for school closures. “We are planners and it would have helped if as a district we had a plan already out there.”