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Culpeper Schools office experiences COVID-19 outbreak
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Culpeper Schools office experiences COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 testing by National Guard

Army National Guard Spc. Clarissa Swanerbury swabs a patient at a COVID-19 testing site at Spotswood Baptist Church in Spotsylvania County.

A “business outbreak” of the novel coronavirus has occurred in the Culpeper County Public Schools’ Transportation Administration Office.

It has been confirmed that the virus was transmitted in that office, the school division’s point man for COVID-19 issues told the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

The outbreak also affected staff in the division’s Central Office on Radio Lane, said Dr. Russell Houck, the system’s executive director of student services.

“This situation meets the (Virginia Department of Health’s) definition of an outbreak,” he wrote in an email.

Contact tracing determined that no bus drivers, students or teachers were exposed to the virus by the presence of an infected person in the Transportation Office, Houck said.

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One transportation employee transmitted the virus to a second transportation employee, he said.

A third transportation employee is awaiting official test results, but is showing symptoms and is “presumed positive,” Houck said.

One of two quarantined Central Office employees who was in the Transportation Office at a meeting has been released from quarantine, he said.

A miscommunication led to a second Central Office employee being inaccurately identified as a close contact of the first, Houck said.

The first Central Office employee remains in quarantine as a close contact of the first transportation employee, he said. Per 100,000 people, Culpeper’s 7-day average number of new coronavirus cases reported is 26.2, the state Health Department reports. Within the last 14 days, per 100,000 people, Culpeper’s total number of new COVID-19 cases is 287, VDH said.

In May, Culpeper’s rate of COVID-19 cases was higher than any locality in the region and one of the highest in the state, topping even populous Fairfax County.

Cathy Dyson: 540/374-5425

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Clint Schemmer, a journalist since 1980, has worked at papers in California, North Carolina and Virginia. He’s been a bureau chief, editorial-page editor, copy desk chief and local news editor. Now a staff writer at the Culpeper Star-Exponent.

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