Westwood Administration Announces First COVID-19 Positive Case


The first COVID-19 positive case at Westwood was announced one day after in-person learning began.

By Hannah Ashtari and Eshaan Chopra

The Westwood administration informed the school’s students, parents and staff that an individual present on campus was lab-confirmed to have the virus that causes COVID-19 on Wednesday, Sept. 16. However, due to privacy law, the administration did not identify the person or any details about them. It was determined, though, that the individual did not come into contact with any students.

“After careful review, we have determined that the COVID-positive person did not come into contact with students,” Dr. Mario Acosta said in a statement. “The local health department has begun a case investigation and has contacted any individuals determined to be in close contact with the infected individual. All staff that came into close contact have been directly notified.” 

In compliance with the Round Rock Independent School District (RRISD) procedures, the individuals who came into contact with the COVID-19 positive person are required to remain off campus for up to 14 days to ensure that they do not have the virus and do not spread it to others. Extra precautions will also be taken by the school’s custodial staff when disinfecting the area that the COVID-19 individual occupied. 

“Our custodial teams take great care in cleaning our facilities daily and extra attention was given to disinfecting the area occupied by this individual,” Dr. Acosta said.

The announcement came only one day after the school returned to modified in-person learning. This is not the first COVID-19 case that has occurred on RRISD campuses. Callison Elementary, an RRISD elementary school, also notified families about a positive case last week, although no one at the campus was determined to be a close contact, District Spokesperson Maritza Gallega said to the Austin- American Statesman

“While we do not have reason to believe that those who were not in close contact with the infected individual have reason to be concerned, we ask that you, as always, watch for symptoms of COVID-19,” Dr. Acosta said. 

Students have expressed concern over the announcement, and while some have been pulled out of school, others think the situation was well contained. 

“I was scared honestly, [when I heard the news], but once I found out that they didn’t have any contact with people I felt better about it,” Ali Heinricy ‘23  said. “I think [being in school] helps me focus better and get away from distractions in my house, and I have my friend here and that makes it better. I think [the school] could be more strict but they’re taking precautions and do have rules set in place so for now it is good.”

Despite the COVID-19 case, procedures at school will continue as usual. Dr. Acosta ended his statement by urging anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms to contact the campus nurse and campus COVID contact, Erin Campbell, as well as providing a list of symptoms that may indicate an individual has COVID-19.

“If you begin experiencing any of these symptoms in a way that is not typical, we encourage you to contact your physician. We encourage anyone in the Round Rock ISD community who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 to please notify your campus nurse and campus COVID contact,” Dr. Acosta said.

To learn more about RRISD coronavirus procedures, as well as get updates about learning and RRISD’s Re-Imagining education plan, visit https://roundrockisd.org/reimaginingeducation/. To stay updated on COVID-19 case counts in the district, visit https://roundrockisd.org/covid-dashboard/ 

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