At last count, two high school students and someone in a kindergarten classroom tested positive for COVID-19.
Danville Area School District officials took the right action and separated the two high schoolers and the kindergarten class from the schools' populations.
Superintendent Ricki Boyle said the kindergarten classroom was sent home on Tuesday of last week to quarantine for two weeks. They are attending class virtually through the bridge program, in which the students watch their teacher present the lesson in the classroom as if they were in class.
The high school also went virtual on that same Tuesday following the second positive test result. The high school moved to a hybrid model the following day. Divided into two groups alphabetically, they are alternating attending in-person class with online class.
The hybrid bridge model was to be in place at least through Friday, but Boyle said that has been extended to at least Oct. 2.
Boyle said the hybrid plan was a backup plan the district was ready to implement in case of positive tests. She said the state Department of Health (DOH) recommended the kindergarten class stay home for two weeks.
The start of the school year provided plenty of uncertainty and anxiety for parents, though most decided to send their children to in-person school, rather than learn through the bridge or cyber programs.
District parents put a lot of trust in school officials who, to their credit, have worked hard for months planning every detail and following state guidelines, from students and staff wearing masks and social distancing, to feeding students in their classrooms rather than have them move through the halls and gather in the cafeteria. They also reduced student interaction by having elementary teachers, rather than students, change classrooms.
Just to make that a little bit more comfortable, Danville Primary School first-grade teachers Gianna Evancho and Jessica Paugh raised donations from local businesses so 1,200 primary school and intermediate school students could sit on stadium seat cushions.
Danville is among several area school districts with COVID cases — Shikellamy, Selinsgrove and Mount Carmel also reported some. The districts seem to be doing everything they could to prevent any more virus cases.
While three cases is not a surge or wave, school officials — and students — must remain vigilant. Everyone must continue to wear masks, maintain social distancing, continue frequent handwashing.
The virus still is around, but if we all maintain those practices, we could keep it at bay until a vaccine or another permanent solution is found.