Two positive COVID-19 cases identified at Washburn Rural High School graduation

The Auburn-Washburn School District has been notified that two individuals present at the 4:00 pm Washburn Rural High School graduation ceremony held Saturday, August 2 have tested positive for COVID-19. Auburn-Washburn has been working directly with the Shawnee County Health Department.

The ceremony was held at the Stormont Vail Event Center. WRHS followed all safety precautions outlined by the Event Center as well as health orders currently in place. This includes social distancing and the wearing of masks by all graduates and attendees.

The Health Department advises that individuals who were in attendance at the event should contact their primary care provider IF they develop any of the following symptoms within 14 days from the date of graduation:

• fever of 100.4 F or higher
• chills
• rigors
• myalgia (muscle pain or aches)
• malaise
• headache
• sore throat
• lower respiratory illness (cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing)
• new olfactory and taste disorders
• diarrhea

“We have been in constant communication with the administration of USD 437 since we were notified of potential exposures of COVID-19 at one of their graduation ceremonies,” said Linda Ochs, Shawnee County Health Department Director. “We applaud the proactive attitude their administration has taken to notify those in attendance; we encourage those individuals to monitor for any symptoms of COVID-19 and to schedule testing if symptoms should present themselves”.

As a reminder, human coronaviruses like the one that causes COVID-19 are most commonly spread through coughing and sneezing, personal contact like shaking hands, and touching a surface with the virus and then touching your eyes, nose or mouth. There are simple steps everyone can take to help prevent spreading them:

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
• Wear a mask when social and physical distancing is not possible.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay home when you are sick and only leave home for essential items.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.