Holy Spirit Catholic School

Holy Spirit Catholic School in Pocatello.

POCATELLO — Holy Spirit Catholic School has temporarily closed its Summer Care program, following the recent confirmation that a staff member contracted COVID-19.

The school has been working closely with Southeastern Idaho Public Health and said in a press release the program will be closed until further notice.

An employee of the program reported feeling ill and was tested for the virus. Principal Karianne Earnest then implemented pre-established safety protocols and thoroughly cleaned, disinfected and closed the center. Families were notified of potential COVID-19 exposure, according to the press release.

The positive test result was confirmed on July 8 and the principal provided information to the Southeastern Idaho Public Health contact tracing team. Earnest said in the press release the center had followed Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for childcare facilities, including health screenings for children and staff, the use of face masks by staff, sanitizing surfaces, social distancing and deep cleaning at the close of each day.

“While it is unfortunate that the center had to close unexpectedly, we were able to communicate quickly and effectively with our families during this uncertain time because of the extensive planning and preparation that took place prior to opening the Summer Care program,” Earnest said in the press release. “Our highest priority is the health and safety of our community. We will continue to work closely with SIPH in the coming days to determine the next steps in reopening the center.”

Idaho continued a trend of rising confirmed COVID-19 cases on Friday, setting a statewide record for new cases in a single day with 479 new cases.

The state reported 21 additional probable cases on Friday. The state now has 9,928 total confirmed and probable cases, which have caused 101 deaths, according to Idaho Public Health.

In Southeast Idaho, officials confirmed a dozen new cases on Friday. The list included six cases in Bannock County, one in Bear Lake County, two in Bingham County, one in Franklin County and two in Oneida County, bringing the total number of cases in the region to 301. Of those cases, 181 patients have recovered.