Abilene and Chapman schools were closed Monday after an outbreak of COVID-19.

About 100 Abilene public school students are expected to be placed in quarantine after being in contact with seven people associated with USD 435 who tested positive for COVID-19, Abilene Superintendent Greg Brown said Saturday.

“I think two or three are adults and the remaining ones are kids. The students are all in high school,” Brown said.

“The adults have connections with younger students and KDHE/health department guidelines identifies ‘close contacts’ with a pretty broad swipe in some cases. So we’re anticipating around 100 students placed in quarantine,” he said.

The seven positive cases were discovered in the “last 36 hours or less,” Brown said Saturday.

“None of them — to my knowledge — in quarantine have become symptomatic,” Brown said, but added. “I may be wrong on that, but I’m not aware of that happening.”

Abilene and Chapman schools were closed Monday to give the school district and the Dickinson County Health Department time to identify and notify the families of students and others who came into close contact with the people who tested positive.

“Our county health department has some pretty stringent quarantine guidelines that are developed by KDHE (Kansas Department of Health and Environment) so we’re going to call school off Monday because the health department is going to need some time,” Brown said.

He expected the process of identifying and notifying would last through late Sunday night and possibly even into Monday morning.

Brown said closing school Monday also was necessary to protect others who have not been exposed.

He explained it would be a bad deal if students who had not yet been notified had come to school Monday.

“Then we’ve exposed others,” he said.

The health department also reported that Abilene Middle School students riding on the AMS volleyball team bus to Concordia Thursday are under quarantine through Oct. 1.

School is expected to resume Tuesday.

Recommended for you