Lansing closes high school after about 200 students potentially exposed to COVID-19

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

A Lansing high school has been closed for two days after members of the school's three football teams tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week, leaving around 200 students potentially exposed.

Superintendent Ben Shuldiner told The Detroit News on Friday that J.W. Sexton High was closed Thursday and Friday after less than 20 athletes tested positive for the virus starting on Tuesday.

J.W. Sexton High School is shown in Lansing, Michigan.

School officials tested every member of the varsity football team on Wednesday, when students were not in school due to a professional development day, and started seeing more positive tests, he said.

After conducting contact tracing, the district notified students who were potential primary contacts. 

"Unlike elementary school, in high school students go to up to eight classes per day," Shuldiner said. "Out of an abundance of caution the decision was made to close school down to do a deep cleaning and give enough time to see if any other people on the football became positive."

The high school has around 900 students. All extra-curricular activities were canceled at the school, including a Friday night varsity football game against Williamston.

Shuldiner said there are positive cases across all three football teams, including the seventh and eighth grade, junior varsity and varsity teams.

On Monday, all students who are primary contacts will be invited to school to receive a rapid COVID-19 test, Shuldiner said. If they are negative they can attend classes.