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IWA says COVID-19 case is false positive

Isle of Wight Academy Headmaster Mark Munford has retracted his confirmation of a student testing positive for COVID-19.

“We currently have zero COVID-19 cases involving our students at IWA,” the headmaster said the morning of Sept. 24. “The previous student has two negative test results and the first rapid test result is believed by the WTHD [Western Tidewater Health District] to be a false positive.”

A few days ago, Munford had written a letter to parents informing them of the single positive test, without disclosing the identity of the student.

On Aug. 31, the school brought its faculty and 637 students in preschool through 12th grade back to campus. The school has implemented numerous precautions to prevent students from coming into close contact with each other, including limiting most class sizes to 18 or fewer students, distancing students’ desks at least six feet from each other and implementing a two-bell system where half the students in grades 6-12 change classes at the first bell and the other half at the second.

“If there were to be a case at IOW Academy, or any other school for that matter, our response is the same … to work with the entity, such as a school, business, to identify any close contacts there and any at home, and advise them if there is a need to quarantine based on their risk stratification,” WTHD Director Dr. Todd Wagner had told the paper on Sept. 23.