Local schools adjust plans around virus

GREENCASTLE—Greencastle-Antrim High School students will be doing virtual learning through the Thanksgiving holiday due to a number of COVID-19 cases in that school.

“We currently know of seven positive cases now in our high school. As we reached nearly 60 students exposed and quarantined, our confidence in our ability to protect all students and staff lessened as students represented both [student learning] Groups A and B,” said G-A Superintendent Lura Hanks in a letter to parents. “This may be one of the most difficult days that we have faced, but we are confident that we will continue to move forward with strength and dedication as we fulfill our obligation to educate all children while maintaining their health and safety.”

Hanks asked families to minimize social interactions among students during this time and encourage children to wear masks when they are out and about and over the holiday.

Cases of COVID have been on the rise across the county.

Earlier this week, the Chambersburg Area School District was notified of four positive cases of COVID-19—two at Hamilton Heights Elementary and two at CAMS North.

In the past two weeks, CASD announced two positive cases of COVID-19—one at CASHS, two at CAMS South, two at Hamilton Heights and three at Scotland Elementary

After discussions with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, and “out of an abundance of caution,” the district sent several grades of students at those schools temporarily back to virtual learning and thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, beyond the regular and extensive cleaning that already occurs daily, the affected schools.

According to district officials, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, together with Chambersburg Area School District, conducted a contact tracing investigation and individuals identified as close contacts were contacted by the DoH and/or Chambersburg administration. If an individual was not contacted, he/she is not considered to be a close contact.

Close contact is defined by the CDC as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated.

In Waynesboro, the district is in week 11 of in-school learning.

“So far, we have been very successful,” said WASD Superintendent Tod Kline in his address to parents. “WASD has had strict protocols in place during this pandemic. Because of those protocols, we are still in school. Nevertheless, we are in a period that is showing a spike in cases.  WASD has experienced several cases over the last couple of weeks.”

As of last week, there were two positive cases among staff and three students who tested positive.

“Almost every day we have those who are now healthy and released to return to school,” Kline said.

Tuscarora School District is continuing in-person learning, with only a few cases in that district.

In Cumberland County, Carlisle Area School District has closed Carlisle High School, Mooreland Elementary, Wilson Elementary and North Dickinson Elementary until Monday.