Detroit charter school parent tests positive for coronavirus

A Detroit charter school parent has tested positive for the new coronavirus, prompting officials to suspend the pick up of academic packets at the school.

The parent has two children who attend the University Preparatory Art & Design Elementary School at 10225 3rd Ave., in Detroit.

“The children who attend the school have not shown any symptoms at this time,” a notification on the website of the University Preparatory charter network said. A letter also went home to parents. Officials from the school could not be reached for comment.

“Our recommendation is that anyone who had access to the school self-quarantine for the next 14 days,” Danielle Jackson, the interim CEO of the school’s management company said in the letter. “It is possible that you are a carrier of the virus and can spread it to others even if you show no symptoms.”

The parent is one of 80 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan, a number that grew from 53 Tuesday. There are 13 cases in Detroit, and 10 additional cases elsewhere in Wayne County, according to information on the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services website. State officials said in a press conference earlier Wednesday that the number was likely to grow by at least 30 by the end of the day. The news of the parent’s diagnosis came on the same day a coronavirus patient — a Wayne County man in his 50s with underlying medical conditions — became the first person in Michigan to die of the virus.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week ordered all public and private schools in the state to close through April 5 to slow the spread of COVID-19.

University Preparatory said the building at issue will be closed through Thursday, and undergo a deep cleaning. Academic packets will be mailed to parents, and the distribution of meals is expected to resume on Friday.

The parent is one of at least two people with close connections to a Detroit school to be diagnosed with the virus. On Saturday, Detroit school district officials announced that a school employee at Osborn High School had tested positive. The district also noted that more employees at the school had exhibited symptoms.

Jackson said in the letter to the charter school community that as testing becomes more widespread, there likely will be more cases affecting the community.

“We are in this together,” Jackson wrote.