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2 Houghton-Portage Township staff members test positive for COVID-19

Houghton Elementary and Houghton Middle/High School remain open.
A file photo from the Houghton High School gymnasium.
A file photo from the Houghton High School gymnasium.(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 18, 2020 at 11:01 AM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Two staff members from Houghton-Portage Township Schools have tested positive for the coronavirus.

A staff member at Houghton Middle/High School has tested positive for COVID-19, the district announced Friday morning.

In a message to district families, superintendent Doreen Kramer says the staff member followed safety protocols and the Western U.P. Health Department has determined that no staff or students were at high risk for exposure.

“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,” Kramer wrote. “'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 High School indicate that ‘close contact’ occurred with students who attended, we are notifying our HPTS families out of an abundance of caution.”

To Our HPTS Families: We have been notified that a staff member at Houghton Middle/High School has tested positive for...

Posted by Houghton Elementary School on Friday, September 18, 2020

On Thursday, Kramer sent another message to HPTS families saying the district was notified that a staff member at Houghton Elementary School has tested positive for COVID-19.

“This elementary staff member followed safety protocols and this classroom was in a cohort during their day,” Kramer said. “Phone calls have already been made to the parents of the students who were in the identified kindergarten classroom.”

In this situation also, Kramer said she does not believe the circumstances at Houghton Elementary School indicate that “close contact” occurred with students who attended. The district notified families out of an abundance of caution.

Both HPTS buildings remain open.

To help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, HPTS supports the health department guidance, along with the CDC recommendations, of wearing a face covering in public places, staying 6 feet from others, and frequently washing their hands.

To Our HPTS Families: We have been notified that a staff member at Houghton Elementary School has tested positive for...

Posted by Houghton Elementary School on Thursday, September 17, 2020

Nearby Jeffers High School has been closed since Wednesday because of a COVID-19 positive test from a teacher.

The Western U.P. Health Department gave an update Thursday evening about COVID-19 cases in Houghton County.

“Regarding Houghton County numbers, there continues to be a significant amount of cases from Michigan Tech” the WUPHD wrote on Facebook. “Other cases have been tied to family connections and small group gatherings. Some local schools have had individual cases that are being investigated and monitored with the assistance of school administrators. Actions have included elementary and high school students being quarantined to prevent further spread. There are no additional local community exposure sites to report at this time. Remember to mask up and maintain a 6 ft distance between yourself and people that are not of the same household.”

Regarding Houghton County numbers, there continues to be a significant amount of cases from Michigan Tech. Other cases...

Posted by Western Upper Peninsula Health Department on Thursday, September 17, 2020

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