PAYETTE, Idaho — A letter from the Payette School District went out Thursday to parents and staff telling them there's been a cluster of COVID-19 illnesses at the high school and they are going back to remote learning.
For the safety of everyone, students are being told to stay home and not return to Payette High School until Monday, Sept. 13. This only affects Payette High students.
Students are expected to log on to Canvas and complete their course work on Tuesday through Thursday, Sept. 7-9. Attendance will be kept and assignments will be graded during this period away from campus.
The letter is signed by Principal Jacob Williams and District Superintendent Robin Gilbert.
District officials say they are working with health officials and families to identify positive COVID cases and well as direct contacts for students and staff. Families are encouraged to quarantine their students at this time to best mitigate any additional spread of the virus. Wearing a mask is strongly encouraged.
Sports and other activities are being allowed as long practice is outdoors or in a well-ventilated area. Any student with symptoms of the virus should be isolated and not allowed to practice with the team.
While the high school is closed it will undergo a deep cleaning and disinfecting, according to CDC guidelines. Schools can reopen after a short closure.
The district says its working with Southwest District Health and will provide updates when they get more information.
Read the full letter from the school district below:
Payette County has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. At 28 percent, it is fourth from the bottom in Idaho based on the number of people vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Payette County has now issued an emergency declaration because of "the increase in COVID-19's presence in our communities and the impact on healthcare systems."
This allows the county to use processes in its emergency operations plan. So now they can help local organizations and request resources and money from the state of Idaho and the federal government.
The Payette County commissioners will consider extending this declaration at their next meeting on Sept. 7.
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