The weather is constantly changing with high- and low-pressure systems bringing endless varieties of heat, cold, wind and precipitation that constantly alter our daily routines. First-year Bryan City Schools Superintendent Mark Rairigh has figured out that COVID-19 works pretty much the same way.
Every positive case gets 10 days of quarantine and every close contact gets 14, but those numbers aren’t easy because most students don’t have symptoms on Day 1.
“We’re learning positive cases and contacts come and go in big waves, which represents the community,” Rairigh told the Bryan School Board Monday. “There is no spread in the school but it trickles in from the county. Cases are coming from family and public gatherings.
“It takes two to 14 days to develop symptoms and most students come in without realizing they have it,” he said. “Students and staff do a good job. When they develop symptoms, they usually get themselves out the door within 15 minutes.
“The problem is we have to contract trace back 48 hours prior,” he said. “Everybody does a good job social distancing but there is always a team project, sporting event or a bus ride. Last week we went from two to 13 active cases and as of today, right now, we have five with a sixth pending.”
Six active cases mean 195 students (10% of the full student body) and 11 staff members (3.6% of the entire staff) are in quarantine but half of those finish and return on Wednesday, four days before all of them go on Thanksgiving break.
“We’re hoping the break will give us a reset with everybody coming back fresh (and off the quarantine list) after the holiday,” he said ... But no one is counting on that.
“We want in-person education with activities; that is always our goal but we have to remain safe and we’re prepared to go to remote learning every day,” Rairigh said. “We follow the Centers for Disease Control and Health Department guidelines because we don’t want to be responsible for spread. We slow and limit any spread in the school but that changes quickly.
“The information is constantly changing; it changes quickly and there are a lot of unknowns as the state and nation deal with the same challenges,” he said. “We will monitor the impact of that and communicate decisions as needed.”
In other business, the board approved an agreement with the University of Toledo to offer student-teacher practicums and went into executive session to discuss employee compensation with no action taken afterward.