CLARION — The Keystone and Allegheny-Clarion Valley school districts have both reported a positive case of COVID-19, resulting in the cancellation of classes and activities at Keystone High School on Thursday, but no cancellations in the A-C Valley district.
Keystone Superintendent Shawn Algoe, in speaking with the Clarion News on Thursday, said the infected student is "a member of the Keystone High School community" and that the student is in good condition.
Algoe said he was informed about the case late Wednesday evening, but declined to offer more specific information due to privacy concerns.
A-C Valley Superintendent David McDeavitt, who also spoke with the Clarion News on Thursday, said that district's infected student tested positive within the past few days. The gender and grade level of the student, who has been quarantined, was not released due to privacy concerns.
On Thursday afternoon, Algoe issued a statement on the Keystone schools website that says, in part, any student or staff member considered to be a “close contact” — within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes — "will be forced to quarantine" as per state Department of Health guidelines.
The statement also said "a confirmed case within an athletic team will result in the quarantine of the entire athletic team."
According to the statement, contact tracers from the state and district "will make contact with the affected individuals to ensure timely notification."
The statement also said the district has "implemented a deep clean of the entire facility" and the school will reopen for in-person instruction today.
In addition, the statement said, Keystone Junior-Senior High School
will be in-session on Monday as a make-up date for Thursday’s closure. Keystone Elementary School, however, will be closed Monday for previously scheduled Act 80 parent-teacher conferences.
The high school closure included students enrolled at the Clarion County Career Center and the VLN online education program.
"We take the health and safety of our students and staff very seriously," Algoe said.
McDeavitt said A-C Valley custodians performed a deep cleaning of the school building that the infected student attends, and that district officials contacted a liaison at Riverview Intermediate Unit who is in contact with the Department of Health.
McDeavitt said the state investigated the contact tracing of the individual at the school and did not recommend closing the school.
The district, McDeavitt said, is monitoring the situation, and sports programs and other extracurricular activities have not been affected.
There are enough Chromebooks and accessories as well as a teaching plan in place if the district were to implement fully remote learning, according to McDeavitt.