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Superintendent says COVID-19 Cases Appear to be Community Spread

On October 20, Salida Schools switched to remote learning. After studying connections and possible risks to students and staff, approximately 80 students were put in quarantine. With such a high number connected to the case, public health and the district agreed the entire high school program will operate in remote mode through November 2. All SHS families that were identified as at-risk were directly contacted by the school nurse before 4 p.m. on October 20.

Late yesterday afternoon a second positive case was identified. Initial review of the case showed potential connections to Longfellow, Salida Middle School, and Crest Academy. After this discovery, all district buildings were put on remote learning for October 21 so an investigation of the connections, evaluative or risks, and contact with families could be made. A follow-up communication will be sent out this afternoon or evening as soon as the investigation is complete.

At this time, it is believed that the virus’s spread has begun through community transmission, meaning the exact source cannot be identified.

In a letter to parents, Superintendent David Blackburn reminded that “Quarantine is not sick. Quarantine is a safety strategy to reduce the potential spread of the disease.”

Blackburn explained “I know there is fatigue in living in a manner of protection from the virus.  Physically distancing, masks, frequent hand washing, staying home when symptomatic, and getting tested are exhausting activities to maintain over the long-term.  This morning I am asking you to stay strong that is what we can do.  In addition, we are asking families to honor quarantine requests.”

Blackburn went on “There is no quarantine police any more than there is a siren over the bathroom to identify who failed to wash their hands. Please honor the requests.  Give a phone call for help in getting groceries, paying bills, or finding other solutions. Salida is a community, and community means a helping hand.  You may be stuck in your house, but you are not alone.  These conversations create anxiety in us.  Reach out to others and share your burdens.”

Blackburn ended the letter saying “We made it 10 out of 36 weeks before what we expected actually occurred. This is not a surprise. Now we will respond in ways that we planned. Salida and Poncha Springs can do this–we have to.  In-person instruction is essential for our kids and represents far more than our larger community.  These pauses are a way for us to find a path back to safely offering in-person instruction. We are going to continue to press forward; please join us.”

There have been four positive COVID-19 cases within the Salida School District since classes began. For more information on quarantine procedures, click here.