Last week, the Belmond-Klemme Schools identified a total of two students and one teacher as testing positive for COVID-19.The district wants to reassure all patrons that the Belmond-Klemme Community School District continues to take every step possible to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.
Acccording to Belmond Klemme Community Schools Superintendent Dan Frazier, the student cases do not appear to result from activities in our school. Frazier credits this because of the careful approach the district takes in protecting the students.
The district is working with the Iowa Department of Public Health and Wright County Public Health. The infected students are all currently at home recovering. In addition, 42 students are currently in quarantine due to close contact and exposure to positive cases.
Frazier went on to explain that the expanding outbreak of COVID-19 in Iowa does not appear to be affecting Belmond Klemme schools rate of attendance. As of November 19th, the absence rate was 4% sick in the elementary school and 3% sick in the secondary school. This is comparable to a normal year in November. Under state rules, quarantined students cannot be included in our absence rate because they can learn from home through online instruction.
At a coronavirus task force briefing held at the White House on November 19th, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield said evidence shows that students are contracting the respiratory illness from family gatherings and local events rather than schools: “The infections that we’ve identified in schools when they’ve been evaluated were not acquired in schools. They were actually acquired in the community and in the household.”
Redfield went on to state, “The truth is, for kids K-12, one of the safest places they can be, from our perspective, is to remain in school, and it’s really important that following the data, making sure we don’t make emotional decisions about what to close and what not to close.”