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COVID-19 shuts down Eureka elementary school

by LYNNETTE HINTZE
Daily Inter Lake | September 17, 2021 7:00 AM

Eureka Elementary School closed Monday due to a large number of COVID-19 positive or symptomatic staff, Eureka Superintendent of Schools Jim Mepham said in an online post alerting parents throughout the school district.

“We anticipate the possibility that this could continue until more staff can return to school,” Mepham said, noting the district will continue to post daily updates.

“Our staff has worked tirelessly to get through this pandemic,” he said. “We are thankful for the hours of overtime work by the health department and our ability to secure rapid testing to try to minimize the spread.”

Both the junior and senior high schools were holding classes on Monday as scheduled.

Eureka schools have struggled with COVID-19 outbreaks since the new school year began. On Sept. 8, Mepham — who said he was “one of the Covid sick myself” — reported via Facebook that 14 staff members were isolated and several more were recommended to be quarantined as close contacts. The report further stated 16 students were out with COVID-19, and three classrooms were isolated by the health department.

Mepham encouraged parents to be patient as the district works through the outbreak.

“Please realize that every staff member is either sick, quarantined, or overworked,” Mepham posted online Sept. 9. “We are all scared for ourselves, our families, our colleagues, our students, and our community … Most staff members are doing their job and at least part of another. Sick and quarantined staff are contributing from home. … We will continue to make daily decisions.”

The Noxon School District on Monday was notified by the Sanders County Health Department that several of its students have tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the district to move to remote teaching for the rest of this week and all of next week, through Sept. 24.

Noxon schools also are canceling all extra-curricular activities, including practices. Classes will be online and buses will be providing homework and meals.

The Noxon School District is in contact with area health departments and will provide further information as it becomes available.