Beresford School District parents raising concerns about COVID-19 cases

Published: Aug. 27, 2020 at 6:59 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - As kids head back to class some schools are starting to see positive cases in their school district.

One that’s been getting a lot of attention has been the Beresford School District. They informed parents this week that four staff members have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are in isolation. Eight staff members and seven students who had close contact are also quarantined.

The early number of cases has some parents worried. As well as the fact that masks are only highly recommended and not required at school.

It’s one of the reasons Holly Richard feels she made the right choice to homeschool this year.

“There are so many studies out there that show that mask-wearing reduces the spread of airborne and aerosol and particle droplets. So, it seems like having a mask mandate would be the best idea if you were going to put a bunch of people in the same class,” said Richard.

But Superintendent Brian Field wants parents to know they are doing all they can to keep students and staff safe.

“We have zero K through 12 positive COVID cases. So none of our students at this time have COVID-19. So obviously we are pleased about that,” said Supt. Field.

Another concern some parents have is that the district is thinking about designating all school employees as critical personnel. Which would mean a school employee who came in close contact with someone who has COVID, but tests negative themselves could return to school instead of quarantine for 14 days.

“They would have to keep daily symptom logs and they’d have to do temperature checks twice a day and also do our screener for COVID symptoms,” said Supt. Field.

They would also be required to wear a mask for a 14 day period. Some parents aren’t so sure about this.

“I feel really sorry for our teachers. I think it puts their health at risk and it’s not just that one teacher that’s being put at risk. That teacher has a family, that teacher might have children or elders in their family that are at high risk to COVID-19 and I think there are alternatives to making teachers essential workers,” said Richard.

According to Superintendent Field, 10 percent of staff are out right now due to the pandemic.

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