A food service worker preparing free meals at Stonewall Middle School has tested positive for COVID-19, Prince William County schools told parents Monday night.
The employee was last on duty at Stonewall Middle on Friday, April 17, but the employee was not interacting with families picking up the free meals, according to the notice the school division emailed to parents Monday, April 20.
The worker is isolating at home as are all other employees and volunteers who were working at the school, the email said.
Stonewall Middle, 10100 Lomond Drive in Manassas, will remain a pickup site for the free meals, which are distributed between 9 and 11 a.m. on weekdays. The school is one of 22 schools handing out free packaged breakfasts and lunches to children ages 18 and under during the coronavirus pandemic.
“Out of an abundance of caution,” the announcement said, the school’s food preparation site has been disinfected and meals are being prepared at Mullen Elementary School prior to being delivered to Stonewall Middle. Also, the staff handing the meals to families will be substituted with different staff, the announcement said.
“We recommend that you watch for symptoms of COVID-19 in your children and contact your health provider if you have concerns,” the announcement said.
Prince William County reported a total of 793 cases of COVID-19 and 17 deaths as of Monday, April 20, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
The email recommends that parents contact the Prince William Health Department with specific concerns. The health department’s COVID-19 hotline can be reached at 703-872-7759. The line is staffed Mondays through Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The following are the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, as listed on the Virginia Department of Health website:
- The virus is spread mainly through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. Therefore, it spreads between people who are in close contact with one another (about 6 feet) or by touching a surface or object where respiratory droplets have landed. Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
- Symptoms may appear between two and 14 days after exposure.
- People with COVID-19 usually have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. Some people have other symptoms, including fatigue, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, or diarrhea. Not everyone with COVID-19 will have all symptoms and fever might not be present.
- If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19, get medical attention immediately. Emergency warning signs may include: trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion or inability to arouse, bluish lips or face.
- If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the operator that you have or might have COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before medical help arrives.