Q&A: Mr. Begley on the First Positive Case


A “Please Wear a Mask” sign hands in Main Street in the high school. There are signs up all around the school reminding students and staff to social distance and wear their masks.

Q: What has Lake Central been doing differently from other schools in order to stay open?


A: When we’re here and doing this, it works. We need to continue to do the best effort possible to see if we can stay open and work at our capacity. If we can’t, we go to an e-learning model. We have to give this an honest effort. No one has all the answers to this. I’m not 100% positive we should stay open. I’m not 100% positive we should go to e-learning. I think what we have now gives us the flexibility to move back and forth pretty seamlessly and that’s the best we can do right now.


Q: What are the steps you took to contact trace after you were informed of the positive COVID-19 case? 


A:  Everything that’s indicating here is that the one case we had here was not related to school. In addition, the student was here on the 17th and 18th and was not feeling well on the 18th and went home that day. The student got the test on the 19th and the parents did not get the results until the weekend, which was the 22nd and 23rd. They let us know the 24th; we then notified all the students. I went to all the classrooms, pulled all the seating charts and marked a six foot radius around. I consulted the health department on what to do and that’s what they told us to do. We followed their guidance. We did a six foot radius around where the student was sitting, which is why it’s very important to have the seating charts. All the students within a six foot radius was assumed and those students were notified and put on quarantine. None of those students had any symptoms. They were notified on the 24th the contact was on the 17th or 18th due to the blue white schedule. Symptoms start to exhibit 24 to 48 hours after contact. There were 11 close contacts and that’s not to say that 7 of them were feeling symptomatic, none of them were showing any symptoms. This shows that what we’re doing is working.


Q: What advice do you have for students to stay safe?


A:  What you’re doing here, wearing your mask, washing your hands, social distancing, need to be done outside of school and at home. You go to school for 8 hours a day, sleep for 8 hours a day, keep doing what you’re doing here for the other 8 hours.


Q: How has the health department stayed involved in our school’s reopening?


A: The health department was here on Friday the 21st. I have his report here. “Spoke to the principal who showed me the procedures they are following which are in accordance with the governor’s guidelines. We went into several classrooms and they are social distancing and wearing masks. At this time I find no problem with their policy.” Mr. Bish, health department sanitarian. 


Q: Is there anything else you want to add related to returning to school during the pandemic?

A:  It’s a pandemic, people here are going to get it. That’s the risk you take coming here. People are going to contract it. I’m hoping people didn’t think I’m going to come here and nothings going to happen. Something’s going to happen. There’s 3,299 students here and about 1,004 are on the elearning platform. About 30% of the student body is doing elearning. We’re trying to give you the best possible education we can give you as we try to get through this pandemic