Classes were canceled Monday at Idaho Science and Technology Charter School after around a third of the school’s teachers were exposed to a positive COVID case over the weekend.
The public charter school in Blackfoot announced on its Facebook page Sunday night that school would be canceled Monday because of the number of potential exposures. The school later confirmed that at least a third of the school’s 25 faculty members had been in contact with a positive case during an event Friday.
School director Tami Dortch said that the exposure came from someone who had attended a teacher event to celebrate the start of a new grading period. Dortch said that two teachers and one student have tested positive and will be quarantined, while test results from three more people were still being looked at by Southeast Idaho Public Health.
The school’s board of directors will hold a special meeting tonight to decide how to proceed with classes for the rest of the week and may meet again later this week to respond to changes made by the public health office.
“We will see what the board says about the rest of the week, but we’re also watching the number of positive cases go up in the area and are watching to see how SIPH reacts,” Dortch said.
Bingham County is one of six counties in the region that Southeast Idaho Public Health has placed into the ‘moderate risk’ category for the virus. Blackfoot School District made the switch to an alternating-days approach because of that designation, while the Idaho Science and Technology school board voted last week to continue with daily in-person classes.
The K-8 school has 339 students enrolled, according to the most recent numbers from the State Department of Education.
Regular case updates posted by District 91 and CEIMore than 300 students and 38 staff members are currently in isolation in Idaho Falls School District 91 because of possible close contact with coronavirus cases over the last two weeks.
District 91 has begun publishing a regular overview of virus cases and quarantines within the school district on its website. The online report will be regularly updated as cases are confirmed by Eastern Idaho Public Health and the district identifies anyone who needs to isolate.
Five new cases among students were identified by the school district on Monday. Those new cases push the total virus cases from staff and students in District 91 to 35 confirmed cases since the beginning of the school year. So far, none of the cases or quarantines have been widespread enough for a whole school to be closed.
College of Eastern Idaho posted its own weekly update of coronavirus exposures Friday. Potential exposures were reported on the college campus on Sept. 4, 14 and 15 from individuals in the school library and three of the six buildings. The college’s posted information did not specify how many total cases there had been during that time or whether the cases came from students, employees or faculty members.