Lebanon school COVID-19 cases put 200 students, 13 staff in quarantine

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Lebanon City Schools has more than 200 students and 13 staffers in quarantine as a surge in COVID-19 cases, including 15 or 16 in the past two days, Superintendent Todd Yohey said.

On Tuesday, the form letter to Lebanon High School parents and guardians said, “The Lebanon City School District was notified of 8 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in your child’s school.”

On Monday, letters reported at least six more new cases.

“They’ve resulted in about 150 students being quarantined. After today, I’d say it’ll be approximately 200,” Yohey said Wednesday.

On Thursday, Yohey said there were 21 students out due to positive tests for the coronavirus, resulting in 219 in quarantine. In addition, Yohey said eight staffers had tested positive, resulting in 13 being quarantined.

Students do not attend school in-person for 14 days while in quarantine.

“Every building has some positive cases. The majority are at the high school,” Yohey added.

Still Yohey said the district planned to remain open for the rest of the semester for students who had opted for in-school classes and aren’t affected by quarantines.

“Our goals is to keep schools open unless we are directed to close them,” Yohey said.

While acknowledging the student problem could force the schools to close, “I think staff absence will close us before student absence,” Yohey said.

However Yohey said the district was “closer than we’ve been since the pandemic started.

"So far we’ve been able to manage it,” Yohey said. “It’s important for our kids to be in school.”

School officials urge parents and guardians to assess students before sending them in.

“The cases that we’ve seen over the last three or four days, we haven’t traced any of them to school,” Yohey said.

As in other districts, the students, while testing positive “most of our kids have been asymptomatic or the sniffles,”

Most of the cases have been traced to contacts at events outside school, including Halloween parties, sleepovers, family gatherings, birthday parties, play dates, “riding around in cars together.”

“We met this morning. Right now we’ve decided to try and ride this current surge out,” Yohey added.

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