PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Two school districts, in two different counties choosing to have their students learn virtually for weeks.
A surge in coronavirus cases and those who have been in close contact with people who have COVID-19 are to blame.
For 14 days, students at the Beaver Area School District will be learning from home. The district says in the last few days, the number of COVID-19 students and staff nearly doubled.
“Kids need an education, I mean, kids are having it hard now,” said Morgan McCormish, who lives in Beaver County.
According to the Beaver Area Superintendent, Dr. Carrie Rowe, in the last 72 hours they’ve seen a 350% increase in students needing to quarantine. Right now, it’s 163 students. Most are from the Dutch Ridge Elementary School.
“Yeah, that’s a lot of kids. But it’s better safe than sorry, right?,” said McCormish.
In Allegheny County, the doors to the Avonworth School District will be closed for almost two weeks.
It isn’t so much about the number of positive cases, but rather those who were in close contact.
On Wednesday, the district decided to close the district starting today and have all of its students learn virtually.
“Several times we’ve had students that have come to school and have been sick. They’ve had fevers. This is quite concerning,” said Dr. Thomas Ralston, Avonworth School District superintendent.
In the district, they have five active cases. However, at the middle and high school, there are 51 people who are in quarantine. Another 50 are also being told to stay home because they all had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.
Most recently, a positive student came into contact with 22 other kids.
“What we’re seeing: Halloween parties, sleepovers, other social gatherings when these cases are traced back and are leading to issues here at school,” said Ralston.
School leaders say it was after speaking with the Allegheny County Department of Health they decided to close their buildings.
The school closure will extend through Nov. 24.
Both districts have also decided to cancel their activities and athletics while their buildings are closed.
Gateway High School and Apollo-Ridge High School are also closing temporarily.