Yokosuka's Kinnick High School closes after positive coronavirus case

Students head to their first day of in-person classes at Nile C. Kinnick High School at Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan, Monday, Sept. 28, 2020.


By CAITLIN DOORNBOS | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 16, 2020

Stars and Stripes is making stories on the coronavirus pandemic available free of charge. See other free reports here. Sign up for our daily coronavirus newsletter here. Please support our journalism with a subscription.

YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan The on-base Kinnick High School will close Thursday and Friday after one person at the school tested positive for the coronavirus, Department of Defense Education Activity Pacific East community superintendent Ronald Knight said in a message to parents and staff late Wednesday.

Knight did not specify whether the positive case was associated with a student or staff member but said the person was also "briefly present today in a classroom" at Sullivans Elementary School on base. Students in that classroom will be contacted and told not to attend school on Thursday or Friday, as well.

"Though this individual did not have sustained contact with students, out of an abundance of caution, parents and sponsors of the affected classroom will be contacted directly," Knight said in the message.

The students kept home Thursday and Friday will not receive online instruction "due to the proximity to Winter Break," which begins Saturday for Defense Department schools, according to the message.

"There is not adequate time to transition to remote learning and ensure all students have access to technology resources to support remote learning," Knight said in his message.

While public health officials have "deemed the risk to be low" for the rest of Yokosuka's base schools, parents concerned for their children attending in-person classes the rest of the week "may keep their child home and receive an excused absence," Knight said in the message.

This is the first time Yokosuka schools have closed for a positive coronavirus case since in-person instruction resumed in September.

Twitter: @CaitlinDoornbos