QUINCY — Grant County Health District reported four new positive COVID-19 cases on Monday, including a staff member at Quincy High School.
There’s now been seven total cases of the illness in the county, including one previously reported death, said Theresa Adkinson, Grant County Health District administrator.
The district has had 34 people test negatively and has 38 pending cases, according to its website.
Two additional cases are listed in a ‘probable’ category. Those are people in high-risk groups who have been in close contact with a positive case, are showing symptoms and are undergoing testing, Adkinson said.
Five of the cases are in Quincy and two are in Mattawa, according to the website.
Two of the people are between 19-40 years old, two are 41-60 years old, two are 61-80 and one is more than 80 years old, according to the website.
Quincy High School dismissed students at 11:30 a.m., shortly after the case there was reported, Superintendent John Boyd said in an interview Monday. The rest of the district's schools were dismissed at regular times.
The school district is working with the Grant County Health District to identify students or other staff members who may have come in contact with the person, Boyd said.
Following an order from Gov. Jay Inslee, schools across the state were already ordered to close for six weeks starting Tuesday.
After the Quincy High School staff member was diagnosed Monday, Boyd also instructed all the buildings in the district to close for the rest of the week out of precaution, he said.
“We’re going to send everybody home to telecommute in the whole district, including the district (office) staff,” he said. "Then we’ll regroup next week.”
The staff member, who hasn’t been identified, was notified of their diagnosis Monday morning, Boyd said. The person immediately called the school’s principal to report it.
Their healthcare provider also called the health district to report the news, Boyd said. The school’s closure happened soon after.
Grant County has had at least three other confirmed cases of the illness.
The Diocese of Yakima said Sunday that a priest based in Mattawa was confirmed to have the illness after two inconclusive tests.
A Quincy resident in their 80s earlier this month was the first confirmed case in Eastern Washington. That person was treated at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee and has since passed away.
The Grant County Health District on Friday said another Quincy man in his 60s, who was in contact with the man in his 80s, also tested positive for COVID-19.
The Quincy School District is putting together a plan to educate the students who are now facing six weeks of lost instruction, Boyd said.
Many teachers sent students home with work packets, online resources and extra library books, he said. District staff are determining whether they’ll be able to provide online instruction in the long term.
The district also plans to provide child care for first responders and medical staff, and meal service for every student, Boyd said.
“At this point, every super across the state of Washington has more questions than answers,” he said.
Quincy Valley Post-Register Editor Miles King contributed to this report. This is a developing story and will be updated.