Tecumseh schools employee tests positive for coronarvirus, another awaiting results

A Tecumseh Local Schools employee tested positive for the coronavirus and another is in quarantine awaiting results, according to the district’s superintendent.

“Our employee who tested positive has not been around our students, but typically interacts with a high number of students everyday school is in session,” said Superintendent Paula Crew.

Crew said due to this reason and others that are potential barriers for learning in the school setting, Tecumseh will still begin the year with remote learning when they reopen in the fall.

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“If this were to happen, and it likely will, if students are in the school setting throughout the day, a very high number of students would need to be quarantined for 14 days,” Crew said. “Tracing and tracking alone of students who have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 while in the school setting would be very difficult.”

Crew added that with students and staff potentially needing to be quarantined on a routine basis, the consistency of education would be compromised.

“Thus, another example of our decision to commit to remote learning for the first quarter,” she said. “The potential barriers for learning in the school setting, and having a consistent educational platform for our students, currently outweigh the benefits of students being in the school setting.”

The district decided to shift to Plan C, complete remote learning for all, after several factors led to the change in plans for the start of the year.

Crew said these factors included Clark County being placed on a Level 3 status on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, a state-wide mandatory mask order was given by Gov. Mike DeWine, an influx of COVID-19 cases, and a “significant number” of parents had requested to switch from the school setting to remote learning.

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Although Clark County has since changed from a Level 3 to a Level 2 status, the district will still begin the school year this fall with remote learning as they “anticipate Clark County may transition between orange and red, perhaps multiple times, throughout the next several months,” Crew said.

The district will share more information related to remote learning, supplies pickup, and breakfast and lunch in the next couple of weeks, Crew said.

Gracie Hemphill, a spokesperson for the Clark County Combined Health District, said because there is only one case of the coronavirus associated with the district as Friday, the district cannot be considered a workplace outbreak.

“We are aware of this case and have been in contact with (the district),” Hemphill said. “All necessary follow-up has been completed.”