MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County Schools leaders say the Treadwell school employee who was quarantined after coming into contact with a coronavirus patient has been cleared to return to work.
Superintendent Joris Ray made that announcement at a press conference Wednesday with the Shelby County Health Department.
The superintendent says while the health department has given the okay for that employee to return to work, the district is giving him a few more days, until after spring break.
The district announced on Monday that the employee had come into contact with Shelby County’s first coronavirus patient.
That led to many parents rushing to Treadwell to check their kids out of school early and vowing not to let them come back to school, despite the district and the health department saying there was no risk.
At the press conference on Wednesday, Ray held up a letter that he says was from the health department clearing that employee.
"He's in great spirits, however this has been an ordeal over the last week or so," said Ray. "At the end of the day we cherish all of our employees and we really appreciate him self-disclosing this information."
Superintendent Ray also criticized media coverage of the quarantined Treadwell employee.
On Tuesday, WMC Action News 5 pointed out the district had not answered several of our questions about that employee, including whether the employee had returned to work after coming into contact with the coronavirus patient.
Ray says keeping students safe is his top priority.
He says the district has been transparent through this whole thing, but that there were certain questions about the employee they could not answer, following advice from the health department, which has been citing patient privacy laws.
WMC Action News 5 and at least one other news outlet asked for a copy of the letter Ray held up at the press conference, but were told a freedom of information request would need to be filed before the district could release the letter.
WMC Action News 5 has still not received answers to any of the questions this reporter sent to them on Tuesday morning, including questions about cleaning supplies that teachers say they have not received.
We will let readers and viewers know when we receive those answers.