Spikes in COVID-19 cases cause several Erie schools to turn to virtual learning


Several schools in Erie County saw a spike in COVID cases this week which caused them to turn to virtual learning.

We spoke to officials from the Erie County Department of Health about this.

Students will once again have to return to virtual learning because of an increase in COVID-19 cases. Grover Cleveland School in the Erie School District had 11 positive cases.

Schools in Erie County are going virtual due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. Students at Blessed Sacrament School, St. Jude, Grover Cleveland Elementary, and Wattsburg Area School District are all currently turning to virtual learning.

Students at Belle Valley will be learning virtual starting on November 16th. Students at Robison Elementary and Waterford Elementary will begin virtual classes on November 17th.

“Overall we have held pretty much consistent since the beginning of the year with the number of active cases. It just so happens in this one instance we had a grouping in one building. Based on conversations with the Department of Health they suggested that we would go remote,” said Neal Brockman, Executive Director of Operations at the Erie School District.

Erie County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper said that the spike in COVID cases has been building up for weeks.

“We know that after school they are in activities and maybe seeing each other in other places and I think that is part of the problem,” said Kathy Dahlkemper, Erie County Executive.

Dahlkemper said that there are a few things families and students can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

“Universal masking in schools is really important and even if the mandate is lifted I imagine many school districts will continue it because they know it is one of the tools they have and I think it is depending on percentage of students who are vaccinated,” said Dahlkemper.

“We are hopeful that as many parents will take advantage of the COVID vaccine as possible. We are planning on hosting a vaccine clinic next week,” said Brokman.

Dahlkemper said that the cycle of virtual learning due to the COVID cases might continue until the weather gets better and vaccination numbers increase.

The schools will return to in person learning after Thanksgiving break.

Brockman said that the vaccine clinics will be open to the public on November 22nd and 23rd at Perry Elementary.

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