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AASD, Tyrone report changes due to virus

Altoona Area School District has reported that several classes have been quarantined due to a positive COVID-19 test, while Tyrone Area has decided to change instruction models to help mitigate COVID-19 concerns.

An individual in the Altoona Area High School has tested positive for COVID-19 and as a result, seven classes have been quarantined, according to an email sent to parents from the district.

Individuals who have been identified as having “close contact” have received personal notification with further instructions from the school. All those identified as having close contact will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

Parents of children who have not been identified as having close contact did not receive notification, the Altoona Area School District said.

“Close contact” is defined by the state Department of Health as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from two days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic people, two days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

Steps to disinfect and sanitize the classroom and all common areas are underway by maintenance staff.

Parents should continue to monitor their students each day for symptoms of COVID-19, which could include fever, loss of taste or smell, headache, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, fatigue, congestion or runny nose, body aches and/or nausea. If your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, please contact your child’s health care provider. If your child tests positive for COVID-19, please contact the school.

Tyrone changes instruction models

The Tyrone Area School District will change instructional models for students in kindergarten through grades 12.

In a letter to parents and guardians on Monday, district Superintendent Leslie Estep said these changes will take place Dec. 1 through Dec. 11:

— Pre-K students will return to the hybrid model used at the beginning of the school year.

— Elementary school students will begin a hybrid model with students separated into a Group A and Group B. Normal bus transportation will continue for students on their days to attend school in person.

— Middle-school students will begin daily virtual learning.

— High-school students’ virtual learning, originally scheduled through Dec. 4, will extend through Dec. 11.

GACTC students are to continue in its virtual model through Dec. 4. The district’s day care will remain open and operating as normally scheduled.

Estep said the change is due to positive cases of COVID-19 and quarantines in the community affecting students and staff. She also said it is precautionary to holiday gatherings and travel.

She said school-sponsored extracurricular activities for students may resume Dec. 14 and winter sports practices are to begin Dec. 1, unless determined otherwise. The district will provide information on school meals at a later date.

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