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Decatur schools: Austin High senior who attended graduation ceremony tests positive for coronavirus

The ceremony was May 21.

Posted: May 27, 2020 4:07 PM
Updated: May 27, 2020 10:50 PM

Decatur City Schools announced Wednesday that one of the graduating seniors at Austin High School has tested positive for coronavirus.

The student was present at the May 21 graduation ceremony.

Students file to their seats during the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020. Students file to their seats during the graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020.

In a letter, Deputy Superintendent of School Safety Dwight Satterfield said the student was properly screened like all others at the ceremony, but that the school was not informed the student had been exposed to coronavirus.

“Based upon guidance from the Morgan County Health Department anyone that was possibly exposed to the student in question would be in the midst of the incubation period until June 3,” wrote Satterfield.

One the parents who attended Thursday's graduation, Carol Beth Durbin, said the school took several steps to keep everyone who attended the event safe. She said once she and her family arrived, they had their temperature taken, they were asked a series of screening questions and they wore masks until they were seated.

"They did a great job of taping off sections for four people to sit in. So you had a row in between each row where people were sitting and you had well more than six feet in between each family group," said Durbin.

However, Satterfield said the student wasn't forthcoming with the information that a family member tested positive for coronavirus. That student then tested positive as well. 

He said after hearing some rumors about the student, Decatur City Schools contacted the family as well as the Morgan County Health Department about what action was needed.

“[The Morgan County Health Department] also suggested that anyone concerned about being in contact with a (coronavirus)-infected individual at the graduation or any other location immediately self-isolate, wear a mask, and contact their health care provider for additional directives,” wrote Satterfield.

Read the full letter below:

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