COVID-Positive Teacher Triggers Class Quarantine

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The Hillsboro School District reported three more confirmed coronavirus cases among students at the high school this week, and a COVID-positive second grade teacher at Beckemeyer School resulted in the quarantine of an entire class.

In total, the Montgomery County Health Department reported 36 new cases so far this week for a positivity rate of 4.0 percent since Sunday, Oct. 18.  The health department reports 546 total county cases as of Wednesday since the pandemic began.

On Sunday, Oct. 18, the Nokomis School district reported a faculty member who was at North Elementary School on Oct. 9 tested positive on Oct. 15.  

“Since the test was conducted in Christian County, the official results did not reach the Montgomery County Health Department and then the district until the weekend,” Nokomis Superintendent Dr. Scott Doerr said.  Those who needed to self-quarantine were notified by the health department on Oct. 15.

The Hillsboro School District learned that another high school student tested positive over the weekend, and contact tracing required eight additional high school students to quarantine beginning Monday, and then on Tuesday, the district found out two more high school students tested positive resulting in 13 more student quarantines.

The district was also notified about the COVID-positive Beckemeyer teacher on Tuesday, resulting in the quarantine of her entire class–except two students who had been absent.

“While it is not the case that a COVID-positive teacher will necessarily cause an entire student group to quarantine, it is the likely outcome in the lower grades where teachers find it very difficult to maintain distance from students while teaching,” Hillsboro Superintendent David Powell said.  “As you have likely noticed, despite relatively large numbers of student quarantines, we have had no teachers quarantined up to this point.  This is because most teachers have a designated space in which they work and from which they teach.  They try to minimize the amount of time they are outside of that space.”

As of Wednesday, Oct. 21, the Illinois Department of Corrections reported that 63 of the 68 coronavirus cases among staff at Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro have recovered, as have 22 of the 28 inmate cases.

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