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School out for the day after confirmed COVID-19 case in Eureka

Published: Sep. 16, 2020 at 6:43 PM CDT
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EUREKA, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Classrooms are empty in Eureka as the school cleans hallways and classrooms following its first confirmed case of COVID-19. And it comes at an inopportune time, as the district tries to keep classes moving along.

The district canceled classes Wednesday as janitorial staff disinfected the school building. Because of the case being conformed after classes on Tuesday, the school decided to cancel classes to clean. Nate Weismantel, the district’s Superintendent said that they were as prepared as they could be for their first case. But they still had a hole in their plan in getting out resources to students.

“If we would’ve gotten the information of the positive case earlier, we would’ve sent home technology. Every one of our kids has a computer or a device. We would have sent home stuff, so we could have gotten a lot more accomplished today school-wise. But we found out after school was already over. So at that point we couldn’t all the technology home to have a functional school day today.” said Weismantel.

Although the district operates on a case-by-case basis whether cleaning needs to be done following a confirmed case, because of the timing of the news the district had no choice but to cancel classes. And devices weren’t able to be sent out to students in time as well. Weismantel said it’s a flaw in the school’s plan. But now that it’s known, the district will be better prepared for future cases.

“Ideally, you know if it happens again, which we assume it will, that we’ll find out early enough in the day so we can get technology home. We can get the information out to the parents that teachers are still going to try and teach. So just don’t interrupt our learning. Today definitely interrupted our learning.”

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