OSCODA – District Health Department No.2 (DHD2) and Oscoda Area Schools (OAS) have confirmed that an attendee at the Oscoda High School Class of 2020 ceremony tested positive for COVID-19.
The ceremony was held outdoors at Hodges Athletic Field on June 28, at the Oscoda Schools’ campus, from noon until 3 p.m. Students social distanced on the football field and spectators were allowed to gather outside of the football field’s fence to watch the ceremony.
DHD2 has said the site was a possible COVID-19 exposure location for the public in a press release. The confirmed infected individual was a spectator and not a student, said OAS officials.
“The only time DHD2 will alert the public to specific location where an individual who has tested positive has been is when the contact-tracing team are unable to contact all of the individuals who may have been present,” stated the press release.
Oscoda Schools Superintendent Scott Moore said OAS has worked hard to obtain as much accurate information as possible about the situation and has collaborated with health officials, physicians and the individual who has tested positive for COVID.
“Initially it was understood that the individual who tested positive was in the bleacher area but now it is verified that the person observing graduation did so from outside of the fence and not in spectator seating in an isolated area,” Moore said. “The individual also reports practicing social distancing and was not in close contact at graduation with anyone outside of immediate family members.”
Moore said that OAS officials heard about the infection from third parties and has gone to great lengths to be proactive and trans parent in their response to the news.
“It has also been reported to OAS that anyone who has been in close contact with this individual has been notified and is currently being tested,” Moore said. “If more information becomes available we will do our best to share as we navigate these challenging times.”
DHD2 officials said those in attendance at the event should continually monitor their own health for changes and possible infection, and that the outdoor situation allowed for “low-risk exposure.”
“Individuals should monitor for symptoms consistent with COVID-19. If they do not develop symptoms within 14 days of these dates, there is nothing to be done. Those that develop symptoms within 14 days of these dates should contact their doctor and consider COVID-19 testing,” said a press release.
DHD2 said that while this news may be unnerving for some, it is why we continue to urge residents to:
• Wear a mask when in public
• Maintain social distancing
• Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds
• Avoid touching your face
• Disinfect commonly touched surfaces
“Situations like this emphasize the importance of social distancing and wearing a face covering in public settings, even outdoors when social distancing is difficult to maintain, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others. Cloth face coverings are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used by people in public settings,” said DHD2 Health Office Denise Bryan.
Moore said school officials will keep the public informed on any changes or new developments in the story.
“If more information becomes available we will do our best to share as we navigate these challenging times,” he said.