School districts throughout the area continue to report positive cases of COVID-19 among students and staff; cases which are causing some disruption in public education.
On Sunday, Quakertown Community School District superintendent Bill Harner announced that a student who also attends Upper Bucks County Technical School had tested positive for the coronavirus.
The news followed a report Friday by Saucon Valley School District superintendent Dr. Craig Butler that a Saucon Valley high school student had tested positive for COVID-19.
As a result of the positive test, the Panthers’ scheduled football scrimmage vs. Bethlehem Catholic Friday night was canceled and this Saturday’s season opener at Pen Argyl is also reportedly now on hold.
Harner said in an email to parents that the student self-reported symptoms after attending UBCTS Monday through Wednesday.
“We followed the (district’s) Health and Safety Plan requiring the quarantining of the student and any siblings,” Harner wrote.
“Contact tracing by the Bucks County Health Department began (Saturday),” he added. “Currently, we are waiting on the results of who may have been exposed to the two students at UBCTS and/or on the buses to tech before determining how (Monday) will work for our tech school students.”
He said parents of UBCTS students would receive followup communications.
Another issue the Quakertown Community School District has been forced to deal with involves busing for students from the district to Faith Christian Academy in Sellersville.
Harner said he made the decision to shut down transportation to the private school after he learned “only second-hand late Wednesday night about two positive student cases at FCA.”
“This stopped bus services for two FCA student-only routes (Thursday and Friday) until we were able to identify other students who came in close contact with the students who tested positive,” Harner said. “Then Friday evening, the Bucks County Health Director informed me that they had identified the close contacts of those two students, so we will be able resume bus services for all students who were not close contacts (Monday) morning, and the rest when their quarantine period is completed.”
Harner closed his email with what he called a possible “glimmer of hope” for parents who would like their children to be back in school full-time.
“We are planning measured steps to do just that if our case numbers and related data remain low,” Harner said. “However, this requires a QCSD team, family and community effort to get there! We have the systems and dedicated staff and faculty to do just that. It is our goal! But it requires a commitment from our entire school community, especially every family to use thoughtfulness and good judgment when your child(ren) is/are out of school–socially distance, wear masks when out in public and to continue to do your part in supporting our Health and Safety Plan.”