Coronavirus COVID-19

Last week was not a good one as far as COVID-19 goes.

The pandemic took the life of another Washburn County resident, and with that loss, 28 of the county’s residents have lost their life to COVID-19 and its complications, the Washburn County Health Department noted in its weekly update on Monday, Nov. 8. 

In that week between Nov. 1 and Nov. 8, the county saw an additional 103 cases, for a total of 2,396 positives since the pandemic began.

Also during the past week, Northwood School responded to an increasing number of cases there by switching from in-person to remote learning on Tuesday through Thursday last week, with students off on Friday for previously scheduled parent/teacher conferences. Staff were at the school each day. Games and sports practices were shuttled for that portion of the week, too.

In the week of Oct. 26 to Nov. 1, the district shot up from three COVID-19 cases to almost two dozen. On Monday morning, Nov. 1, alone, the district learned of five cases.

With the fast, unexpected jump in cases, the district’s administrative team made the decision to go to remote learning through Thursday and meet with the school board that Thursday evening.

The district did not know how long the number would rapidly increase, said Superintendent Scot Kelly, and the district wanted to do what it could to halt it.

Attendance dropped significantly on Monday, both because of the positive cases and because of other illnesses making the rounds, Kelly said.

Meanwhile, some staff were out with illness or with COVID-19 (three teachers were out with COVID in the last week of October).

Middle and high school students were prepared on Monday for the remote learning, with digital devices handed out to them as needed.

Elementary school staff prepared packets of information and activities for their students on Monday, and the materials were hand-delivered to the young students on Tuesday.

Kelly said the time period that students were home after getting COVID-19 symptoms or a diagnosis plus the remote learning days added up to close to a 10-day quarantine period.

The district cleans and sanitizes often, and the pause from in-school learning gave them another chance for a “reset,” Kelly said.

The district had to react fast to the cases, and though the district always hopes to keep the school open for in-person teaching, the district is prepared to move into the remote mode when needed, Kelly said.

The school board approved a mask mandate during a special board meeting on Nov. 4 that requires masks to be worn in school and at school-related events until the end of the semester, January 13.

(Copyright © 2021 APG Media)

Recommended for you

Load comments