CORONAVIRUS

Clear Creek Amana High School goes online after students test positive for coronavirus

School had just started in-person classes on Monday

Clear Creek Amana High School in an aerial photograph in Tiffin on Thursday, July 14, 2016. (The Gazette)
Clear Creek Amana High School in an aerial photograph in Tiffin on Thursday, July 14, 2016. (The Gazette)

TIFFIN — Clear Creek Amana High School moved classes to virtual online learning Thursday after three days of on-site class when a positive coronavirus case was reported late Wednesday night.

A large gathering Saturday night, attended by many Clear Creek Amana students, potentially increased the risk of exposure to COVID-19, according to a news release from the district.

School districts have the authority to move to virtual learning for up to 48 hours while conducting contact tracing, the news release said.

The student who tested positive for COVID-19 was in school Monday, and “all mitigation strategies were followed,” according to the news release.

» POSTIVE TESTS: What happens after a student is exposed of tests positive?

Johnson County Public Health has determined students and staff at school would not be considered close contacts — within six feet of the positive case for more than 15 minutes.

The district is asking parents to speak with their students to ask if they were at the gathering Saturday and are experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus.

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“The closure of school and activities today is a direct result of the choices students are making, and we encourage families to recognize the unfortunate outcome and how it affects everyone,” a district spokeswoman said in an email Thursday morning.

» SCHOOL SPORTS: All sports activities on hold for CCA after positive tests

Because of medical privacy laws, the district is unable to release the names of the students with COVID-19.

The 14-day positive percentage in Johnson County for the coronavirus is 16.8 percent.

In releasing new guidance for schools last month, Gov. Kim Reynolds said districts have to petition the state to offer solely online learning if coronavirus cases in their communities surge.

Reynolds said she would allow exceptions to in-person classes only if counties have coronavirus positivity rates of 15 to 20 percent and 10 percent of students are absent from school.

Districts must apply for a waiver of online instruction to the Department of Education and be approved to move virtually temporarily.

The Clear Creek Amana School District offered two options to families returning to school.

The in-person learning option offers prekindergarten through 8th Grade daily on-site learning.

Ninth through 12th grade students were split into two groups, switching between on-site and virtual classes in the mornings and afternoons. Students were to stay in cohorts whenever possible to reduce contact with other students.

All students were given the option of continuous online learning, with the opportunity to switch to on-site learning at the end of the semester.

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The district’s return to learn plan includes information on all grades transitioning to virtual required continuous learning if there was an outbreak of the coronavirus.

Comments: (319) 398-8411; grace.king@thegazette.com

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