Washington School District’s Junior-Senior High School students will be switching to virtual, at-home synchronous learning Wednesday through Friday in an effort to slow the spread of positive COVID-19 cases in the building.
In addition, all extracurricular activities at the junior-senior high school, including athletics, band, and the Prexie Center, a social and tutoring program, will be canceled for the rest of the week, starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday.
The elementary school is unaffected.
The school district plans to reopen for in-person learning at the junior-senior high school on Monday.
Dr. James Konrad, superintendent, said the number of COVID-10 cases has spiked to 44, or 7.2%, as of Monday, with 13 additional cases since Friday.
“With an increase such as that in a few days, we are being precautionary and strategic to close for a few days, and do another deep clean of the building,” Konrad said. “I have been in constant contact with our district physician and the state Department of Health and they support this closure.”
The decision also comes after a recommendation from the school district’s pandemic team.
Konrad said the district plans to revisit the numbers next week to determine if any additional virtual learning days will be required.
Washington Park School will remain open, and elementary school students there will continue with in-person classes.
Washington Area Career and Technology Center students will be responsible for finding transportation to the center while the junior-senior high school is closed.
Meanwhile, the number of COVID-19 cases in Washington, Fayette and Greene counties remains high, according to the Centers for Disease Control and the state Department of Health.
In Washington County, an average of 124 cases were reported each day over the past seven days, with 100 new cases reported on Monday.
In Fayette County, the seven-day average number of cases was 79, with 53 new cases added Monday. The number of COVID-19 cases increased 38% from the average two weeks ago, according to state health officials.
Greene County’s average number of cases remain extremely high, with a seven day average of 21 cases.
Nationwide, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has fallen.
As of Oct. 5, there were 4,019 additional positive cases of COVID-19 in Pennsylvania, bringing the statewide total to 1,453,387, according to the DOH.
Locally, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has risen in Washington, Greene and Fayette counties, as the trend in the 14-day moving average number of hospitalized patients in Pennsylvania continues to increase.
Currently, 2,882 Pennsylvanians are hospitalized with COVID-19, with 682 of those patients in the ICU.
So far, 29,611 Pennsylvanians have died from COVID-19. The DOH reports 356 deaths in Washington County, 358 deaths in Fayette County, and 49 deaths in Greene County.
The U.S. COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 700,000, making it the deadliest pandemic in U.S. history.
About 69.1% of Pennsylvanians age 18 and older are fully vaccinated.
The DOH noted all Pennsylvanians ages 12 and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, which are safe and more than 95% effective at preventing severe illness or death from the virus.
According to the CDC, as of Monday, Pennsylvania ranks fifth among all 50 states for total doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered.