Windber Area and Richland schools reported cases of COVID-19 within the districts Tuesday.
Students at Windber were dismissed early from classes due to “positive cases” of the virus and will participate in remote learning Wednesday through Friday.
“This is not a decision that we take lightly and realize that this may be a burden to some families,” Superintendent Joseph Kimmel said in a message on the district’s website.
Administrators want to continue in-person learning Monday.
The situation will be reassessed Friday and a decision on how to proceed will be made by 1 p.m.
To date, there have been three instances of COVID-19 at Windber.
That includes an elementary teacher, an employee of an outside agency who works in the elementary school with one student and a person who transported students on a school van.
Anyone who was at risk of exposure has been notified.
The cases have been localized to specific areas in the district and its operations and the closure of the buildings will allow Windber “the ability to intensify our targeted deep cleaning efforts in those areas” and continue the “already extensive cleaning and disinfecting practices,” according to the message.
Students are asked to check their teacher’s websites no later than 8 a.m. each day for schedule information and to begin their classes.
If there are login issues or connectivity problems, learners are asked to contact their respective school office.
Richland reported its first case of the coronavirus in the district Tuesday.
According to a message posted to the Richland website, a high school student – who hasn’t been in school since before the Labor Day break – tested positive for COVID-19.
At this time, administrators have been advised by the Pennsylvania Department of Health that there’s no need to close classrooms or schools.
“Richland School District has identified students, staff and adults that are at risk of exposure, has begun communicating required quarantines and encouraged the individuals to seek medical advice from their primary care physician,” Superintendent Arnold Nadonley said in the message.
Nadonley added that cleaning measures are in place, and the facilities, including buses, are sanitized throughout each day.
“My main advice for anybody is if you’re feeling the slightest bit sick to stay home,” he said.
Parents at both schools are encouraged to monitor their children for symptoms and communicate any concerns with the family’s primary care physician and the school nurse.