Breaking news: Greencastle-Antrim High School going virtual as COVID concerns grow

Shawn Hardy
Echo Pilot
Greencastle-Antrim High School instruction is going virtual through the Thanksgiving holiday as COVID concerns grow.

Instruction for all Greencastle-Antrim High School students will be virtual through the Thanksgiving holiday because of COVID-19.

As of Monday afternoon there were seven positive cases at the high school and dozens of other students have been exposed to the virus.

"As we began tracing the events of the weekend with each case, the list of students exposed continued to grow," Dr. Lura Hanks wrote in a letter to families. "We have many other students with outstanding results from testing."

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Nearly 60 high school students had been exposed and quarantined, representing both Group A, which is in school Mondays and Tuesdays, and Group B, which is in school Thursdays and Fridays.

"This may be one of the most difficult days that we have faced, but we are confident that we will continue to move forward with strength and dedication as we fulfill our obligation to educate all children while maintaining their health and safety," Hanks wrote. "We hope that this time will stop the potential exposure in our high school to staff and students as well as minimize potential spread to our younger groups."

Eighth-grade students are in their second week of virtual learning in a two-week quarantine that started Nov. 6 after six students and a teacher tested positive. A food service worker at the primary school also tested positive, but there have been no cases among younger students to date. They continue to go to school in person Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and online Wednesdays.

Hanks is asking that families minimize social interaction among students during the quarantines.

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"Encourage your children to wear masks when they are out and about as the events of the weekend demonstrate how easily transmitted this illness is," Hanks wrote. "We hope that our community will use caution over this time."

The district has had 11 weeks to build relationships and prepare to go to online learning, according to Hanks.

"We will eagerly open our doors to in-person instruction following the Thanksgiving holiday," she said. 

"We continue to pray for the health and safety of our community and for speedy recoveries for the families managing this illness. Thank you for your partnership this year. We will make it through these winter months together and take it one step at a time," the superintendent concluded.