The Arkansas City school administration announced Tuesday that members of one class at Frances Willard Elementary were exposed to someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

With safety in mind, Superintendent Ron Ballard said that the City-Cowley County Health Department has guided the district to suspend in-person learning for one class for 14 days at the school.

He said five adults and approximately 17 students were affected.

Ballard said the families of those individuals have already been contacted. The students have been asked to isolate at home for that duration and to continue learning remotely. In-person learning for that class is tentatively scheduled to resume on Sept. 29.

Ballard said at this point the district is not aware of any students who have actually displayed symptoms. He said the decision to suspend the class for the two-week period was merely precautionary.

“We would rather error on the side of safety,” he said.

Ballard said the district has been following all state and local health guidelines, and will continue to take the necessary steps to protect students, staff members and their families. He said the district would continue to follow all of the safety steps prescribed in the governor’s executive order, such as masking, the distancing, sanitizing and temperature taking.

Ballard said the district is not planning to conduct further testing at the school unless more students or staff members appear to be symptomatic.

The district has also encouraged families to monitor their health and report potential COVID-19 symptoms to their physician or the health department. He said parents have also been asked to contact the district if their child should display symptoms.

“We’ll move forward at that point in a cooperative effort with the county and take appropriate action beyond that,” he said.

Ballard said in order to protect privacy rights, no other identifying information will be released. He said the district would continue to monitor the situation and take guidance from officials to determine if any further action was necessary.

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