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Emmett School District superintendent asks students, staff to take quarantine guidelines seriously

Superintendent Craig Woods also encouraged students and staff to practice other precautionary measures, like wearing a mask, when not in the school.

EMMETT, Idaho — Editor's note: The above video discusses teachers and students in the Emmett School District being put into quarantine after potentially being exposed to COVID-19 in early October.

Local health officials in Emmett are reminding students, staff and parents within the Emmett School District (ESD) to quarantine themselves if they have or may have COVID-19.

This announcement comes after Valor Health officials informed Superintendent Craig Woods that some individuals who are sick are not taking it seriously, putting the community at risk.

Between the weeks of Oct. 27 to Nov. 9, 120 people within the district were asked to self-isolate. The district reported 46 suspected cases and 15 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

48 students and faculty members were tested between Nov. 2-9.

On Tuesday, Woods asked all ESD parents to keep students home if they are ill, and to follow proper quarantine guidelines in the event someone close to them has tested positive for COVID-19.

"The only exception to the 14-day quarantine requirement in the Emmett School District is if a student tests negative after five quarantine days," Woods said. "But even then, the student is allowed back in the schools with the agreement that he/she will undergo a daily temperature check and wear a mask at all times."

At least 22% of the positive COVID-19 cases within Emmett schools are a result of outside contact, according to Woods. 

During a meeting with the Emmett School District Board of Trustees on Monday, Woods echoed the recommendation from Southwest District Health (SWDH) and Valor Health for mask use in schools.

Last week, Valor Health reported a 19% positivity rate as well as three hospital transfers, one of which required the patient to be transported by air. Two employees are out due to COVID-19.

The health alert in Gem County may shift from yellow, or moderate, to orange, or high, due to the increase in Gem County COVID-19 cases. Emmett schools will continue operations under yellow category guidelines and masks will be encouraged.

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