Reasoning behind Waterloo & Cedar Falls Schools decision to go virtual surrounding Thanksgiving holiday

Published: Nov. 19, 2020 at 6:43 PM CST
Email this link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - A Thanksgiving buffer is what Waterloo and Cedar Falls Schools are hoping to get. They teamed up to move all classes remote for two days before and three days after Thanksgiving. The idea is if students and staff do get COVID-19 over the holiday, they have time to know it before stepping back in a classroom.

“That time window is usually because of symptoms. Like I said originally we see an average of symptoms develop about 4-5 days after exposure,” says Dr. Nafissa Cisse Egbuonye, Director of Black Hawk County Health.

Black Hawk County Health collaborated with the districts to come up with the plan. Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart says he supports the decision , as he recently recovered from the virus himself.

“I’m very thankful that I was able to recover but it’s not necessarily if you only get it, it’s that you can give it to other people whose immune systems might not be as strong,” Mayor Hart says.

Waterloo School Superintendent Dr. Jane Lindaman says their concerns stem from staffing shortages they’ve been experiencing due to the virus, so they see this as a proactive approach. Total they’ve had around 100 COVID cases since the beginning of the school year.

“We will share that many of those have been within the last couple weeks,” Dr. Lindaman told us.

We asked if they plan to take the same approach with upcoming holidays in December.

“If it’s highly effective then yes it is a possibility we could look at the same thing kind of post New Years Eve, New Years Day but we’re going to monitor that we are not ready to announce any of that,” Dr. Lindaman says.

Copyright 2020 KCRG. All rights reserved.