CRESTLINE — Crestline Exempted Village Schools will conduct classes remotely for the rest of this week due to “excessive student and staff illnesses.”
Superintendent Matt Henderson said illnesses due to the COVID-19 virus forced the district to shut down on Tuesday and after consulting with administrators, district buildings will remain closed through Friday, Sept. 3. Henderson said in-person instruction will resume on Tuesday, Sept. 7 following the Labor Day holiday weekend.
The high number of illnesses among the student body and staff members — particularly at the elementary school — combined with a shortage of substitute teachers and staff to cover classes contributed to Tuesday’s closure, Henderson said.
“Our issue today was largely logistical and it had to do with not having enough (substitute teachers) to cover staff and safely have the proper ratio of teachers and adults monitoring students,” Henderson said.
According to figures posted Tuesday on the district’s website, 125 elementary school students and seven elementary staff members are currently in close contact quarantine. Henderson noted that the district’s entire fourth-grade population is in quarantine along with two-first grade classes and several individual students in third and fifth grades who came into close contact with people who tested positive for COVID19.
Forty-one middle and high school students and five preschool students are in quarantine, according to the latest numbers.
The active case count district-wide shows 14 students and four staff members. Broken down by building, among the student body, there are nine active cases at the elementary school, three at the middle school, and two at the high school. Among staff members, there are three active cases at the elementary school and one in the preschool.
Henderson said district administrators will continue to monitor the situation today (Tuesday) and determine whether to reopen school on Wednesday or remain closed.
“Once I convene with my administrators this afternoon and they get more information from our parents, then we’ll make a determination,” Henderson said. “Our goal, obviously, is to get back into the building for in-person instruction, but we can only do that if we can safely monitor students.”
Crawford County Health Commissioner Kate Siefert said the Crawford County Public Health jurisdictions have experienced an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases recently, including a spike in the Crestline area.
“There were 176 active cases in our jurisdiction (Monday), of which 44 — which is 25% — live in the 44827 zip code,” Siefert said. “If you consider 25% of our cases fall in that one zip code and that one zip code does not make up 25% of our (county) population, it’s significant.”
Siefert said out of the 176 active COVID-19 cases in Crawford County Public Health’s jurisdiction, 64% are under age 50 and the average age is 40. She said that’s a drastic shift compared to the previous year’s statistics. Siefert noted that 10 people in that group of 176 active cases have been fully vaccinated, but the rest have not been vaccinated.
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