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Richmond principal diagnosed with COVID-19; his wife hospitalized

Posted at 12:56 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 18:34:14-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Parents and students who picked-up computers or supplies from Richmond’s Mary Munford Elementary School over the last two weeks have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

That’s because the school’s principal Greg Muzik was at those events and has since tested positive for COVID-19.

“The only time that we’ve had any kind of event of any kind where I was around a lot of people was the computer distribution,” Muzik told CBS 6 via Zoom on Wednesday.

Muzik notified parents about his diagnosis on the school’s PTA website.

“Both my wife and I have tested positive for COVID,” he wrote. “So far I am doing just fine and just isolating at home. I am fortunate to be in a great interactive home-monitoring program through UVA health and communicate with a doctor or nurse every day. I hope to be back in action in a couple of weeks!”

While not confirming Muzik’s identity, the Richmond School System confirmed an employee at Munford tested positive.

The school system indicated the employee was asymptomatic while attending events at the school.

“At the direction of the Richmond City Health Department (RCHD), we encourage individuals who were present at Mary Munford Elementary School distribution events over the last two weeks to self-isolate for 14 days (per CDC guidelines) and to reach out to their primary care provider if they have any concerns or experience any symptoms,” a Richmond Public Schools spokesperson said in a statement.

Musik said no other individuals have tested positive who were present at the distribution. Neither Superintendent Jason Kamras nor any other RPS administrators attended the distribution.

The staff handed out 115 laptops. Musik estimated 150 people visited the school in addition to 30 volunteers.

“We made sure we put some up we had social distancing tape on the floors and everybody wore masks. We used gloves for any handling any equipment. We use disinfectant wipes with sanitizer all over the place,” Musik described.

Musik initially had mild symptoms on Saturday, which he said quickly went away. He was tested for the virus after a teacher reported a three-day fever following the distribution.

Doctors diagnosed him with the coronavirus on Friday.

Musik said he still isn’t showing any symptoms, but his wife was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday when she presented with low oxygen levels.

Matthew Nilson’s daughter attends Kindergarten at Mary Munford.

“I was sad to hear of the news about Mr. Muzik. He is a treasure and beloved at Mary Munford and RPS for his almost 50 years of stellar contribution. I am relieved and encouraged to hear he is feeling fine and my family and I pray for a speedy recovery,” Nilson said. “I do think this brings home the reality that contingency planning would be wise in order to prepare for what RPS could look like in the fall.”

Nilson's family did not pick up a laptop.

“Our primary focus remains the safety of our students, staff, and families. All of our staff and volunteers at distribution events are instructed to follow CDC guidelines including social distancing and the use of face masks and gloves. We will continue to maintain necessary safety protocols and will work collaboratively with the RCHD to ensure the well-being of the RPS community,” a RPS spokesperson wrote.

Musik has held the leadership position at Mary Munford for 26 years. He said the school system is preparing a team to review how best to reopen schools in the fall based on guidance by the Governor.

Doctors ordered Musik to isolate at home until June 4. Musik said his wife shared her hospitalization publicly to warn about how serious this virus can be even for healthy individuals.

“I just want people to stay safe and make sure that they continue with social distancing, and wear masks whenever you go anywhere,” he advised.