East Clinton schools dealing carefully with COVID-19


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



SABINA — Students wanting to return to in-person learning may have to wait until the next semester due to new COVID-19 cases.

During Tuesday’s East Clinton School Board meeting, Superintendent Eric Magee discussed the result of a survey sent out to students.

The survey, sent out three weeks prior, was asking students about their feelings regarding returning to the classrooms.

“The survey was looking at what point in time when we’re able to bring back students into the building,” said Magee.

The questions asked included whether they’d prefer to keep learning remotely or return to the class, and whether or not they’d come back earlier if allowed to.

McGee advised 195 students responded to the survey — about 60% of the 320 who are online.

Sixty-three percent said they wished to return at the beginning of the next semester; 56% indicated they would return immediately if given the opportunity.

The discussion was made after Magee told the board about their first positive COVID cases in the district.

“A week ago (Oct. 13) I received a call from New Vienna Elementary reporting that an employee’s husband tested positive that morning,” said Magee. “So, we sent her home to quarantine, and contacted the health department. At the time, (the employee) had no symptoms.”

Though, according to Magee, the employee contacted him the next day indicating that employee had tested positive for COVID-19.

“We then started a contact tracing through her situation. Fortunately, the Monday before we had a professional development day, so there were no students in the building. That helped up in limiting that contact with students,” he said.

Three other employees and two students were quarantined, according to him. The employee had met with them Tuesday morning before finding out the spouse’s case.

A second bout came up on Monday in the late afternoon, according to Magee. They were notified a student had tested positive and they performed contact tracing for that student. Two teachers and seven students are in quarantine, he said.

Two other employees are currently in quarantine after being in class contact with a family member who tested positive.

“We are currently monitoring one of those two situations that might potentially produce some more quarantines,” he said.

Several teachers would be reassigned, the schools would need to manage the class sizes, and refresh the students on safety measures.

“Our goal is to stay out of the red,” he said.

The Clinton County Health District reported 400 cases as of Oct. 16 with 13 COVID-19 related deaths. Clinton County is the orange, indicating increased exposure and spread, according to an Ohio Public Health Advisory System map.

“We’ll continue to bring our students in every day if possible. I think overall if we bring in 100 right now … red is a lot more likely.”

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By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574

Reach John Hamilton at 937-382-2574