Schools report virus cases

Local districts inform parents of five new COVID-19 positives

Local school districts have reported five new COVID-19 cases since Tuesday.

The Hollidaysburg Area School District has confirmed four positive COVID-19 cases in its schools since Oct. 20.

Superintendent Robert Gildea notified parents and guardians of the most recent case at the high school in a letter sent Friday. The district dismissed high school students early Friday, based on guidance from the State Department of Health. High school students will use a virtual learning platform through Tuesday, returning to a hybrid model Wednesday. Gildea said all high school club and extracurricular activities will be suspended during this time.

Because the person who tested positive has not been in the school for the past 10 days, Wednesday’s date of return will allow the 14-day quarantine window to expire, according to the letter.

On Friday, the Tyrone Area School District reported to parents and guardians a COVID-19 case at its high school. The first reported case in the district occurred on Oct. 6, according to the school district website.

Earlier in the week, HASD notified parents and guardians of three separate cases: two at the high school, one at C.W. Longer Elementary School.

Gildea said in his Friday letter it is “imperative” for people to use masks and socially distance while in the community, and to monitor symptoms.

He advised against students gathering during this time.

“Cooperation from all is critical in preventing the continued spread of the virus,” Gildea said.

Williamsburg Community School District Superintendent Lisa Murgas said there have been no reported COVID-19 cases by students or staff in the district this year. She said, however, some students and staff have been quarantined after being in contact with someone who tested positive.

Superintendent Betsy Baker of the Spring Cove School District said the district has had three reported cases since the beginning of the year, but there are no current positive COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

Bellwood-Antis School District Superintendent Thomas McInroy said the district has had no reported COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the year.

Paula Foreman, community relations director at the Altoona Area School District, said the district has had two students and one staff member confirmed as having the virus. She said the district has no active cases.

The Claysburg-Kimmel School District could not be reached for information and updates on COVID-19.

HASD has had eight confirmed COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the year. The first case this week led the district to use a full virtual model at the high school on Oct. 21 in order to have more time to do contact tracing. Gil­dea said contact tracing for that case has concluded and has identified those who were exposed.

The Huntingdon Area School District will shift to two weeks of remote learning, starting Monday until Nov. 6, due to the county being in the “substantial” level of community transmission, according to a letter by Superintendent Fred Foster.

The second week, the district will assess which model — remote, blended/hybrid or full in person — will be used on Nov. 9.

Mirror Staff Writer Dom Cuzzolina is at 946-7428.


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