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Port Neches Elementary team member tests positive for COVID-19, 7 others in quarantine 

PORT NECHES — Eight Port Neches Elementary staff members will not be in attendance for the first day of school today (Aug. 19) after one tested positive for COVID-19 last week.

Assistant Superintendent Julie Gauthier said all eight are currently in quarantine.

“We have all procedures in place if anybody tests positive,” she said. “We follow the state recommendation, the health department guidelines and PNG’s own guidelines that say that positive person has to do a 10-day quarantine.”

After conducting a close contact tracing, seven other staff members were sent into quarantine. None have tested positive or shown symptoms.

All eight are nearing the end of quarantine.

Gauthier said the group all had lunch at a facility outside the district.

“There were seven others that could not guarantee that they had their masks on properly,” she said. “They went out to lunch together and took their masks off to eat. The good thing is only one tested positive. The other seven are just being careful and cautious.”

Unable to identify how many were teachers, Gauthier said that all eight were personnel from Port Neches Elementary.

They are expected to return to school around the end of next week.

“All this was part of our plan,” Gauthier said. “This does not affect anything. All the teachers have contacted their students and parents with the situation so we have subs covering those classes where needed.”

Gauthier said this is not the first positive case for the district.

“This is the new normal,” she said. “This isn’t our first positive, but this is the first case since we’ve been in the buildings. That’s why we started contact tracing as soon as teachers came back.”

The elementary campus, along with every other campus, has already received a deep cleaning. Campuses are being sanitized twice a day, every day.

The Port Neches-Groves Independent School District starts classes today (Aug. 19).