Tarkio R-I School District was notified of a student testing positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, September 9. The student hadn’t been at school since Friday, September 4, but any students or staff, etc. who came in direct contact with that particular student would be notified by the Atchison County Health Department. If you were not contacted, you or your child was not considered to be directly exposed to this person.

On September 11, 2020, an update by the Atchison County Health Department was posted. It read, “Atchison County Health Department was notified that a student had tested positive for COVID-19. Atchison County Health Department has been working to notify all close contacts to this case. If you have not been contacted by the health department, then you are not a close contact and can return to school. If you have been contacted by the health department and were asked to quarantine, please make sure to follow those instructions. If new information arises, you may be contacted and given further instructions.

“Be advised, if you attended a bonfire or gathering on September 5, 2020, in Fairfax, Missouri, it is strongly recommended to monitor your health. The East Atchison football team did a nice job of taking precautions at practice on September 7, 2020, but it is still advised that football players monitor their health if they attended practice on this day.

“The Atchison County Health Department and the school district aim to prevent a COVID-19 outbreak, once an initial case is identified. In order to achieve this, we utilize contact tracing to identify anyone who might be at risk for developing the virus and possibly sharing the virus with others. These individuals are then asked to quarantine for up to 14 days, throughout the period when the virus may develop into symptoms. During this time, we rely on the individual case and contacts to be open about where they have been and who they might have been around. This process is vital in protecting others in the community, including those who cannot fight the virus due to preexisting medical conditions, at-risk factors, or even our senior population. The CDC identifies that risk of complications of COVID-19 increase with age, including higher risk of death. We are asking all our community members to please answer the phone when we call, be open about possible contacts, and follow the expectations provided regarding isolation and quarantine to protect our public health.

“As always, it is our recommendation you continue to maintain physical distance of six feet when in public settings, stay home when you are sick, perform proper hand washing, and clean frequently touched surfaces. If you cannot maintain six feet of physical distance from others, it is recommended to wear a face covering. In addition, activities like hugging, kissing, sharing drinks, riding or sitting in a car, and other face-to-face contact with someone with COVID-19 is considered high-risk and exposure can happen instantly. Please take precautions to help us ensure safety and mitigate the spread of this virus.”


A press release from the Atchison County Health Department, issued September 14, 2020, said, “We were reminded this past week that truthfulness in reporting is indeed a civic duty.” It reported four new cases in Atchison County the week of September 6 – 9. The new cases are: one male and one female, ages 0-19; and one male and one female, ages 50-59. Atchison County has reported 45 total cases to date. Seven of those are active.