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Huntsville City Schools employee associated with Lakewood Elementary tests positive for coronavirus

The district says the employee is associated with Lakewood Elementary School, where the Summer Meal Service program is held.

Posted: Jul 28, 2020 6:25 PM
Updated: Jul 28, 2020 9:10 PM

We are hearing from Huntsville City Schools less than 24 hours after a district employee tested positive for coronavirus.

The district says the employee is associated with Lakewood Elementary School, where the Summer Meal Service program is held.

Huntsville City Schools did not stop distributing meals on Tuesday, and instead, says it's still safe for parents to stop by.

The director of the program says the employee only had contact with the other side of the school, far away from the cafeteria where the meals are put together.

He also says the employee never had any contact with the program staff members.

"We did take steps to make sure the entire building was cleaned and sanitized for our employees to go back into," said program director, Henry Ward.

Ward says as soon as the district learned an employee tested positive late Monday night, the district said a team went to Lakewood Elementary School and spent hours disinfecting overnight.

"There's a specific chemical and machine that is used in this process. I know it uses high temperature and steam," said Ward.

Lyle Lee goes to Lakewood Elementary School every day to pick up meals and deliver them to parents who don't have time in their schedule to pick food up themselves.

"That's why we do it, to love people, to give them hope, and to let them know they aren't alone," said Lee.

Lee says he was getting ready to start his normal meal-delivery routine when he heard about the Coronavirus case.

"The first notification I got on my phone this morning was from your app, the news app, telling me that Lakewood had a staff member test positive," said Lee.

The district says the staff member who tested positive is isolating, but isn't releasing whether or not it's requiring other employees to get tested. Ward says he's making sure staff members are taking as many precautions as they can.

"All wear personal protective equipment which includes masks, face shields and disposable gloves and those are changed every time a task is changed," said Ward.

Both Lee and Ward say the positive case isn't going to stop them from feeding families.

"We don't want to have any interruptions because we know when that occurs, then there's a good risk that one of our Huntsville community members is not getting meals," said Ward.

"I feel comfortable, I feel confident, and I'm trusting that they did what needed to be done," said Lee.

The district says it recommends employees screen themselves daily and if anyone is experiencing symptoms of Coronavirus, they should stay at home.

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