Cape Henlopen student tests positive for COVID-19

LEWES — A Cape Henlopen High School student has tested positive for COVID-19 and is to quarantine for two weeks, officials said in an email to families Tuesday.

“In this instance, social distancing and mask wearing was practiced consistently and the Division of Public Health (DPH) has advised that no further quarantining by staff or students is warranted,” the email continued. “Individual families will be contacted as necessary.”

Cape Henlopen welcomed students back to school last Wednesday in hybrid format, which is a mix of in-person and remote instruction. Students in elementary through fifth grade are in school every day, separated by at least 3 feet. For Pre-K and students in grades six through 12, in-person students would come to school two days, and learn remotely for three. All grade levels can learn entirely remotely, if that is parent preference.

Per Gov. John Carney’s announcement that schools could open hybrid, the Delaware Department of Education released guidance on social distancing, mask wearing and cleaning protocols that each district and charter must follow to open.

As districts like Cape Henlopen begin welcoming students back, the state is still determining how it will report positive cases of COVID-19 in schools, officials said during Gov. Carney’s press briefing Tuesday.

“We know that there will be, and have been cases already, associated with schools — not transmission within a school, which is a good thing,” Gov. Carney said. “It’s still early, [with a] handful of districts that are in person, but we’re trying to figure out ways to make that available and fully address the reporting requirement there.”

Dr. Karyl Rattay, director of the Division of Public Health, said that there is no “exact date” for publishing the information about positive cases in schools, but they are “working on getting that up.”

The goal is to capture the amount of positive cases and how many individuals may have been contagious in school facilities, she said.

“We have no known cases where there has been spread within the school facilities at this point in time, but of course that is something we’re going to keep a close eye on as we move forward,” she said Tuesday afternoon.