Coronavirus: Springfield middle school to stay virtual for another week

Hayward Middle School will continue with virtual learning for another week, according to the district’s spokesperson.

The middle school moved to a virtual format on Sept. 21 after a positive case of COVID-19 was identified in a student on Sept. 18, Springfield school’s spokesperson Cherie Moore said.

The district planned to have students return to the classroom on Monday, but instead, the district decided to continue with online instruction through Oct. 2, at which point the district will reevaluate whether to remain virtual, Moore said. Parents were notified about the extension on Friday.

Two Hayward students had tested positive for the virus and 25 were quarantined according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard for the week of Sept. 21-25, which was updated on Sunday.

Last week, the district reported one positive student and seven quarantined for the week of Sept. 14-18.

Clark County Combined Health District Commissioner Charles Patterson said there isn’t a “set number” of positive COVID-19 cases that would force a district to move to virtual learning.

“In this case, it wasn’t the sear number of cases,” Patterson said. “It’s the number of individuals quarantined that really makes the difference. It’s the number of staff that you available to continue running your operation.”

Patterson said SCSD told the health district on Friday they made the decision to continue with virtual learning because of staffing shortages due to the number of quarantined staff members.

According to the district’s dashboard, 10 staff members were quarantined for the week of Sept. 21-25. One staff member was quarantined for the week of Sept. 14-18.

“They hope to be able to make some staff changes to be back up and running, unfortunately, (substitute teachers) are hard to come by,” Patterson said. “Many of our subs are retired teachers or retired professionals in the community and because of COVID-19 there have been less of those individuals willing to step up into the schools because of the potential exposures."

Clark County had 1,839 cases, 38 deaths and three probable deaths of the coronavirus as of Monday afternoon, according to the Ohio Department of Health.

Ohio reported 151,802 total cases and 4,746 deaths of the coronavirus on Monday, according to ODH. Between Sunday and Monday, the state reported 993 new cases and five new deaths.

About the Author