RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — School doesn’t start until next week in Rapid City’s School District. But 20 staff members and students have already tested positive for COVID-19.
Katy Urban, Communications manager for Rapid City Schools, says 13 staff and 7 students across the district have tested positive for the virus. But it does not change how or when school starts.
“When we saw that the cases were starting to surge about a week ago, our board decided that we were going to start at level two instead of level one. Which at level two it reduces our population of students at school by about 50 percent. So we’ll have a lot fewer students in our classes and we’ll be able to do more physical distancing,” Urban said.
The district will continue to watch the number of cases and make changes if it needs to.
Urban says that there about 1,800 staff member and 13,700 students in the Rapid City Area School District. So that’s about .001 percent of people who tested positive for COVID-19. However, Urban says that some of those cases belong to the same school.
“Everyone at a school, including the staff and families will receive a letter that says there was a positive case and gives symptoms, that kind of thing. If there was more close contact, they would receive a different letter and also a direct call from the department of health or one of our school nurses,” Urban said.
The District wants families to know that the safety of students and staff are its number one priority.
“I can’t stress enough how important it is for people to stay home if they are sick. If they have any symptoms at all, this is not the year to tough it out and get to class. We want you to stay home and get tested if those symptoms look like they could be tested,” Urban said.
In the level two procedure that Rapid City Area Schools are starting in, all staff and students are required to wear masks.