Houghton Elementary School teacher tests positive for COVID

HOUGHTON — A Houghton Elementary School teacher has tested positive for COVID-19, Houghton-Portage Township Schools announced Thursday.

The teacher’s class had already been asked to stay home starting Wednesday after the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department determined the teacher was a probable COVID-positive case. The teacher had been in close contact with a COVID-positive person, WUPHD Health Officer Kate Beer said Tuesday.

Parents in the class have been notified of the positive test, Superintendent Doreen Kramer said in an email to district parents Thursday. The teacher had followed district protocols, and the class stayed in a cohort during the school day to reduce potential exposure to COVID, she said.

“According to guidance from the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD), individuals generally need to be in close contact with a person with COVID-19 to be infected,” she said. “‘Close contact’ includes being within 6 feet of a person with COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes. While we do not believe the circumstances at Houghton Elementary School indicate that ‘close contact’ occurred with students who attended, we are notifying our HPTS families out of an abundance of caution.”

The teacher is the second K-12 staff member in the Copper Country to test positive. Jeffers High School had been closed Wednesday after a staff member’s positive test. The school was able to reopen Thursday after the WUPHD ruled out enough teachers as close contacts to ensure proper staffing.


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