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Waterloo Schools COVID-19 update

(KY3)
Published: Nov. 5, 2020 at 3:26 PM CST
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WATERLOO, Iowa (KCRG) - As COVID-19 cases in Iowa continue to rise, Waterloo Schools says they are not planning to go to virtual learning at this time. The District released the following statement on Thursday:

"Black Hawk County is experiencing a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases and an increase in the positivity rate (20.3%) across the region.

We are working closely with the Black Hawk County Health Department regarding the impact and what may be our next steps. Governor Reynolds gave a proclamation in late July that stated a District must have a county positivity rate and student absence rates at certain levels prior to the Department of Education granting an online waiver. While our county is experiencing a higher rate of positivity, we currently have 0.29% positivity of our in-person students and 1.3% positivity of our staff. That means 99.71% of our students do not have COVID and 98.7% of our staff do not have COVID.

The District has met and will continue to meet with the Black Hawk County Health Department to gather more detailed data on the specifics of the positivity rate. We ask students and staff to continue to please be diligent and follow health and safety protocols inside and outside of school. We continue to require face coverings when social distancing is not possible during the day.

Thankfully, our contact tracing process in conjunction with Black Hawk County Public Health Department has determined we have not had person-to-person spread occur in our buildings. We believe this is due to our face-covering mandate and the responsible way in which staff and students are following our safety protocols; however, contact tracing is showing gatherings outside of school, in-home gatherings, etc. are closely tied to the increase of cases. Each of these cases has an impact on each of us due to others needing to quarantine, potential exposures, etc. 

At this time, we are not planning to move to virtual. We will, however, continue to be prepared for all scenarios. At home, we ask that you talk about your readiness for virtual instruction, in the event we need to utilize it temporarily between now and the end of the school year. For example, you will want to have conversations about childcare needs if students cannot attend in-person for a short period of time. Think about food security and how the school district can support your needs. Let the school know if you will need technology support for learning from home."

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