Second COVID case causes more quarantines in Granton
The Granton Area School District sent out information early last week to parents and guardians of students attending classes at the district that the school has had its second COVID-19 positive case. Since it was first reported on Oct. 24, six students have been sent home for 14 days as close contacts to the positive case.
The amount of students sent home to quarantine for this case was a significantly smaller number than the 19 students and staff sent home during the school’s first COVID-19 positive case last month. In an email, high school principal Amanda Kraus and district administrator James Kuchta said the district followed the same COVID-19 protocols that they had put in place at the beginning of the school year with guidance from the Clark County Health Department.
“As soon as the school district is informed we start the process outlined in our COVID Guide,” they said in a joint e-mail. “The school district, working in collaboration with the Clark County Health Department, identifies and contacts those students/staff recognized as close contacts. An announcement is then communicated via our Facebook/ Webpage to families and our community regarding the positive case. We are fortunate that only six students were identified as being close contacts to the case. We’ve minimized the risk to our district by taking the appropriate steps outlined by the county, state and CDC.”
On the same week that the COVID-19 case was identified at the Granton Area School District, the school had held the first of its bi-weekly virtual days. While it is uncertain whether or not this day played a role in limiting student contact with the virus, Kraus and Kuchta said the day did have an impact on preparing the students for future virtual days and gave both teachers and students a chance to catch up on work.
“This was a previously scheduled Reinforcement and Virtual Learning Day,” they said in their e-mail. “This day was used as a practice for virtual learning across our district as well as a Ketchup & Mustard (Catchup and Must Turn In) student support day for virtual and in-person students.”
As the pandemic continues to affect the area and cause COVID-19 positive cases in schools, Kraus and Kuchta said they plan to continue following the plans they have put in place in response to the virus. They also plan to continue communicating weekly with the Clark County Health Department and with other area schools to remain as up to date with the situation as possible.
“We believe that the Building Leadership Team’s work over the summer on our Re-entry Plan as well as our Health Team’s continued collaboration with Clark County Health creating and implementing our COVID Guide, have laid the groundwork for our district to respond to the current pandemic,” they said. “School districts, along with the Clark County Health Department have responded to recent community spread of COVID by coming together and collaborating on a weekly basis. We don’t know what the future holds but through this collaboration, we are doing our best to stay well-informed to the rapidly changing guidelines and protocols.”
Although there have been instances of contact tracing taking longer due to the rise in the number of local cases, Kraus and Kuchta said the school is responsible for contacting any close contacts within their district, keeping the process as localized and efficient as they can. Besides informing close contacts, they said parents and guardians should be watching for any signs of sickness in their child and keep them out of school if they display any symptoms.
“The Granton Area School District is responsible for contact tracing within the confines of the school, as well as collaborating with the health department on cases involving the surrounding communities,” they said. “The community can rest assured that the district is doing everything in our power to keep student and staff health in mind. We are highly encouraging families to use our 2-1-1 Guideline as a resource whenever there is a healthrelated question. Education is at the core of everything we do here at Granton and safeguarding the health of our students/ staff is a necessary first step to providing quality instruction.”