COVID-19 Update - 5/17/21

posted May 17, 2021, 3:06 PM by Brad VanDyne
Good Evening, Loon Lake Families,

I wanted to take a couple minutes this evening to talk about the events of the last few days.  Obviously, based on how many times I have blown up your phone, we have seen an increase in positive cases at our school.  In fact, we had another one yesterday, and close contacts have already been contacted personally.  But why do we keep getting positive cases?  And how do we determine who is a close contact?  

These are great questions.  The answer to the first question is fairly straightforward.  We are seeing more positive cases because COVID is in our community.  And when it’s prevalent in the community, it’s hard to keep it out of the school.  

But what about the second question:  What is going on with determining close contacts?  All year long, we have followed the health and safety guidance of the Department of Health to the letter.  This has not changed.  We take every precaution we can and take health and safety very seriously.  The most recent guidance from the Department of Health says that 3 feet of distance must be maintained at school.  However, the DOH still uses 6 feet of distance to determine close contacts.    

In other words, the guidance says we can be within 3 feet of each other, but if someone is closer than 6 feet to someone who is positive for 15 or more minutes within a day, they are deemed to be a close contact.  Essentially, we can play by the rules, but if an unexpected positive case enters the school, close contacts will still occur.  This is what we see happening.  And thankfully, we have not yet seen cases being spread around our school.  

The other question that may be on people’s minds is whether we are going to have to shut down again.  The answer to that is, I hope not.  There is no magic formula to know when to shut down.  While we have seen a few positive cases, and we have some folks out because they are close contacts, we have a lot more kids still here at school every day.  These are not easy decisions.  We are monitoring the situation closely, with the help of NE Tri County Health District, and will make the best decisions we can in the coming days and weeks.  

And one last side note, we are able to offer COVID testing here at school using a cheek swab.  Any one in our community who wants a test can come and get tested free of charge.  Call us if you are interested in learning more.  

Feel free to call or email me directly with any questions or concerns you may have.  We will get through this crazy school year just like we always do, and that is together.  

Take good care, and we’ll talk again soon.