Sunday, April 14, 2024

WJCC employee tests positive for the coronavirus, school officials say. Third positive case so far within the district

(WYDaily file photo)
(WYDaily file photo)

An employee at Berkeley Middle School told school administrators on Monday afternoon of having tested positive for the coronavirus.

Williamsburg-James City County Public Schools officials notified the staff the next day, said division spokeswoman Eileen Cox.

The employee was last on school property last week.

Administration notified the Peninsula Health District who will contact those who may have been exposed to the virus through contact tracing, she noted.

“They [the health department] believe there is little exposure risks because social distancing was in place and masks were worn,” Cox said.

This is second positive coronavirus case at Berkeley Middle School — the first was in August before staff arrived, Cox said.

So far there have been three cases at WJCC schools — the first case was in the operations department the last week in July.

“Recently, an employee in our school reported that she has tested positive for COVID-19,” Berkeley Middle School Principal Panagiotis Tsigaridas wrote in a Sep. 15 letter sent to Berkeley Staff. “The school division immediately contacted the Peninsula Health Department to assist with any contact tracing that might be necessary.”

“Fortunately, the health department advises us that risk to other workers is low based on the nature of the employee’s duties and limited contact with others.”

It’s unclear if the person who tested positive was female or male since the letter used both gender pronouns to refer to the employee.

Tsigaridas wrote “understandably” the news a coworker has tested positive “may be upsetting.”

The principal encouraged everyone to monitor for symptoms of the virus.

“While we each take steps to monitor and maintain our own good health, let us also send healing thoughts to our colleague and well wishes for his recovery,” she added. “If you have additional questions, please contact me directly. Please understand, however, that for privacy reasons, I am not able to discuss specifics about the employee or his illness.”

The division did not alert families about the positive case because most of the students are in remote learning.

However, Cox said there are there are currently seven special education students at Berkeley — there are 174 special education students district-wide.

“This person did not come in contact with the students at any time,” she said, adding the employee was not in the building since the students arrived on Monday.

Officials did not say disclose the employees job duties, citing personnel confidentiality.


Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano
Julia Marsigliano is a multimedia reporter for WYDaily. She covers everything on the Peninsula from local government and law enforcement agencies to family-run businesses and weather updates. Before WYDaily, she covered Hampton and Newport News for WYDaily’s sister publication, HNNDaily before both publications merged in December 2018. Julia was born in Tokyo, Japan and moved to Long Island, New York in 2001. A true New Yorker, she loves pizza, bagels and good Chinese food. Send comments, tips and other tidbits to You can follow her on Twitter at @jmarsigliano

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