Coronavirus: Kenton Ridge High School moves to virtual, over 120 contacts quarantining due to outbreak

Kenton Ridge High School will begin virtual learning on Thursday on the advice of the Clark County Combined Health District after an outbreak of COVID-19, according to Northeastern Local School District officials.

The decision was made to move students to virtual learning after six confirmed cases and two probable cases of COVID-19 were identified in the school over the course of the last week, district spokesperson Megan Anthony said.

According to the Clark County Combined Health District four positive student cases and four probable case, along with two positive staff cases had been identified in connection to the outbreak, as of Wednesday afternoon.

In addition to the case, 122 closed contacts of positive cases are currently quarantining as a result of the outbreak.

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According to the CDC, a close contact is defined as someone who was within six feet of an individual with a confirmed case of COVID for 15 minutes or more.

“CCCHD is working closely with the school to contact trace and keep an open line of communication with the quarantined individuals to identify any other cases that may arise," Kyle Trout, communications coordinator for the CCCHD said in a statement.

Virtual learning will start on Thursday and run through Friday, Oct. 16. During that time, crews will deep clean, sanitize and disinfect the school, Anthony said. Staff will have the option to work from home or remain at school.

Northeastern Superintendent John Kronour urged parents to keep their children away from other students during the virtual learning period.

“We ask all families to make sure their students refrain from getting together with students from other households during this time so we can get back to in-person school as soon as possible,” Kronour said. “Our ability to return to school, athletics and activities rests on all of us to follow the spirit of this period of virtual learning and reunite safely on Oct. 19.”

In an attempt to keep students from gathering, all Kenton Ridge athletics and activities will also be canceled until Oct. 16.

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“We recognize that this period of virtual learning and suspended activities is disappointing for many of our students, staff, athletes and families,” Kronour said. “We share your disappointments and hope that by acting now, we will be able to return to school safely on Oct. 19 and fall athletics will be able to resume their season.”

Last week, the Kenton Ridge at Shawnee football game was postponed due to “a COVID positive" Kenton Ridge Athletic Director Kris Spriggs said on Friday. The district has not said whether the six confirmed cases and two probable cases that caused the school to move to virtual learning are connected to the football program.

According to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard for the week of Sept. 26-Oct. 2, the district reported five confirmed cases and 18 quarantining cases. The dashboard is updated every Friday at 5 p.m.

On Tuesday, Gov. Mike DeWine said he’s asked his team to consult with health officials after school superintendents addressed concerns about the number of students having to quarantine after meeting with CDC’s definition of close contacts.

“We have heard anecdotally that most quarantined students are not getting sick,” DeWine said. “I feel that it is important to have data and evidence on this before we make a change to the recommended guidance.”

The governor said that more information on the guidelines will be released as updates are reported.