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NEWLAND — An Avery Middle School student has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a release on Wednesday, Oct. 7, from Avery County Schools Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman.

"Our commitment is to keep each of you informed of our efforts to maintain the safest learning environments possible. We would like to make you aware that a student in the eighth grade at Avery Middle School tested positive for COVID-19 today. This student has not attended school since last Friday, Oct. 2 and continues to be in quarantine," Brigman said.

In response to the positive test, all eighth grade students at Avery Middle School will move to remote learning until Thursday, Oct. 15 and return to campus on Friday, Oct. 16.

"We are proceeding with the highest level of caution while working under the recommendations of the Avery County Health Department. Due to the possibility of exposure last Thursday or Friday, all eighth grade students who attend Avery Middle School will be placed on remote learning to allow a quarantine period through next Thursday, Oct. 15. All eighth graders will return to in-class instruction on Friday, Oct. 16. Sixth and seventh graders will continue with in-class instruction without the need for quarantine," Brigman said.

As per health guidelines, contact tracers from the Avery County Health Department will reach out to individuals who may have been potentially exposed to the virus.

"Individuals who may have come in contact with this student have been notified by the Avery County Health Department. All schools, including Avery Middle School, have been deep cleaned twice since last Friday. We will continue to follow safety protocols and work in partnership with the Avery County Health Department to ensure a safe learning environment is maintained throughout our school system," Brigman said.

The system had previously announced on Oct. 1 that a high school student tested positive for the virus. On Aug. 22, another release stated that an employee at Crossnore Elementary School had tested positive for the virus.

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