A graduating Austin High senior who attended commencement Thursday has tested positive for COVID-19, according to Dwight Satterfield, assistant superintendent of Decatur City Schools.

Satterfield said a family member of the student had tested positive May 4, and the graduating senior was tested shortly before the commencement. The results came back positive for COVID-19 after the event.

"They didn't tell us, even though we screened, took temperatures, asked if anybody had been exposed to anyone or were in the testing protocol, asked if they had any symptoms. They didn't let us know," Satterfield said this afternoon.

Satterfield said DCS heard a rumor about the positive test Tuesday and confirmed it with the family and the Alabama Department of Public Health today.

Satterfield said numerous safety precautions were taken at the ceremony, including temperature checks for all who entered, social distancing and sanitation.

"Just a few minutes ago we had a virtual faculty meeting with the staff at Austin to inform them," Satterfield said this afternoon. A school cast was sent out to all DCS parents, faculty and students informing them of the case.

Satterfield said his understanding is 50% of people exhibit symptoms within five days of exposure. 

"We're kind of in the midst of the incubation period and we'd suggest that anyone who feels like they would have come in contact with this student, or anyone who's concerned period, to consider self-isolating themselves through June 3, wearing a mask, and obviously contacting their health care provider," Satterfield said.

On Tuesday, the ADPH reported 28 new cases of COVID-19 in Morgan County, the most since testing began in the state. The next highest daily count for Morgan County, 14, was on Monday.

"I feel like we had safety protocols in place, and I feel like 95% or higher of our attendees were more than compliant. In this case, it would have been good to know that we had a known positive test with an immediate family member and that we had a student in the testing protocol," Satterfield said. "When that information was not revealed to us, there's really nothing we could do."

This story will be updated.

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eric@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2435. Twitter @DD_Fleischauer.

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