Sheyenne Mustang tests positive before first football game, local group says district needs more COVID-19 mitigation strategies

The guidelines say the school will not be conducting contact tracing and no students or staff exposed will have to quarantine.
Sheyenne Mustangs
Sheyenne Mustangs(KVLY)
Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 5:59 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - The West Fargo School district sent football coaches and families of players an email stating a positive COVID-19 case was identified within the Sheyenne High School football team. It comes as the team readies for its first game against Grand Forks Central on Aug. 27.

After the notification was sent out, several red flags went up among parents who said they feel like the school district is gambling with lives regarding their health and safety guidelines.

The guidelines say the school, in this case, Sheyenne, will not be conducting contact tracing, and no students or staff will have to quarantine.

“It’s almost like West Fargo is trying to do the opposite and allow this to spread.” said Lori Cline.

Cline is a member of CARE, which is a group of parents advocating for districts to do more when it comes to COVID.

“Because they are not contact tracing and they very specifically said in this exposure notification ‘you can go about your normal activities’ they are not even recommending the very simple things.” said Cline.

In a post on the school district’s website, officials said last year they traced the source of COVID infections to the school setting only a handful of times. In 99% of their cases the infection was traced to close contact in the home or community.

“We cannot say for certain if it was one mitigation strategy or all combined, but our data was clear: we saw extremely limited transmission in our schools.” said officials.

However, Cline said she wonders why would they not continue those mitigation strategies they used last year?

“Why would you stop doing what you were doing? That doesn’t make any logical sense.” Cline questioned.

She adds she is concerned about the community spread that could result from West Fargo’s lack of health and safety guidelines.

“I know West Fargo is not alone in the state, but they are standing alone in the metro area now, and that decision affects all of us.” Cline said.

The person who tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days. If it’s a student accommodations will be made to allow them to continue their learning remotely.

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