Covid-19 cases prompt 2-day closure of Derry Area secondary schools | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

Derry Area School District on Tuesday began a two-day closure of its high school/middle school complex triggered by covid-19 cases.

In a letter posted on the district website, Superintendent Eric Curry reported, as of Monday, there were six positive covid cases at the secondary building over the past 14 days.

Under state guidelines, those are enough cases to require closure of the connected schools for two to three days — since transmission rates for the virus in Westmoreland County are at a substantial level.

Curry said the closure of the schools on Tuesday and Wednesday was a precautionary measure that will allow the district to complete deep cleaning of the building and to conduct contact tracing for those who were infected.

The temporary closure, he said, will “ensure the health and safety of our students and staff” and will “allow the district to reset the case count to zero at the secondary level and re-open for in-person instruction starting Thursday.”

During the two-day closure, Derry Area secondary students will receive remote instruction. Also, middle school and high school activities and sports, both at home and away, have been canceled through Wednesday.

For the seven-day period ending April 22, there were 107.5 covid cases per 100,000 residents in Westmoreland County. That was just above the 100-case threshold that indicates a substantial transmission level, as noted on the state Department of Health’s covid-19 early warning monitoring system dashboard.

The closure doesn’t affect the district’s nearby Grandview Elementary School.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, or via Twitter .

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