By Jon King & Tom Tolen /

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are being reported in both the Howell and Brighton school districts.

In Howell, both the high school and the Freshman Campus are closed today and students will switch to online learning. According to a communication from Howell Superintendent Erin MacGregor, district officials were notified Sunday night that a 12th grade student at Howell High School had tested positive for COVID-19 and that their two siblings who are in 9th grade and 10th grade were showing symptoms. MacGregor said that “Out of an abundance of caution, and to allow for a full and complete contact tracing process to occur, both the Howell High School 10-12 Building and Freshman Campus will take part in remote learning” today, and that “No classes will be held in the buildings and students should not report to school.” At this time, they plan to resume in-person classes on Tuesday.

MacGregor said they were in direct contact with the Livingston County Health Department and are working closely with them to identify close contacts of the students. He says as those contacts are identified, the health department will be making contact with the students and their families. The Livingston County Health Department defines close contact as “less than 6 feet apart for more than 15 minutes with or without a mask.” MacGregor added that the district is, “committed to being transparent about how we address situations such as this and keeping you well informed. While doing so, we must also adhere to FERPA privacy laws; thus, we are not releasing the student’s name.” However, as a precautionary measure, the students’ classroom and common areas of both the 10-12 Building and the Freshman Campus will receive additional cleaning. MacGregor says Monday will continue as a scheduled “A” day and students should expect to log into their 1st, 2nd, 5th, and 6th-period class accounts in Schoology for assignments. Tuesday will be a scheduled “B” day.

Meanwhile, a student at Maltby Intermediate School in Brighton has also tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. An e-mail from school administration to Maltby parents Sunday afternoon stated that the student, as directed by the Livingston County Health Dept., has been instructed to self-quarantine. This is the first time a student has tested positive for the coronavirus since the Brighton Area Schools began the school year on Sept. 8th.

In the letter sent Sunday, Maltby parents were told by school officials that any students who may have been exposed to — or were in close contact with — the student involved were to be contacted by the end of the day on Sunday (Sept. 13). “In close contact” is defined as being six feet away or less from the student for at least 15 minutes, regardless of whether they were wearing masks. The school district was to send an e-mail to the parents if their child has been exposed, and they also will be contacted by the health dept.

If parents receive no communication from the health dept., it means their child has had no known exposure to the student who tested positive. The student’s classroom and common areas of the building were to receive additional cleaning as an extra measure of caution. As in Howell, personal information regarding the student is not being released.