The Tunkhannock Area School Board received new information that the three COVID-positive cases identified Monday is now seven, and its members voted unanimously that classes would go completely virtual until Monday, Nov. 30.
Superintendent Heather McPherson said the district now has two cases among children and five among adults, and they touch all four of the district's buildings.
Although stating that he believed students were actually safer in school than the community at large, board member William Prebola said, "We need to follow the data, and see where this goes."
Board member Shauna Gregory said, "We don't want kids to be scared or nervous. We just think this is the right thing to do."
McPherson addressed contact tracing, and said 13 individuals have tested negative, and the district was awaiting the results of tests given to eight adults and four children.
Prebola said, "We're not asking everyone to be tested, but if you feel like you're showing symptoms you need to consult with your doctor and follow his or her advice on testing."
McPherson also had advice for parents with families gathering for Thanksgiving to not let down their guard. "You have to work together to be together," she said.
Up to this past Monday (Nov. 16), Tunkhannock's lower grades were meeting five days a week, and grades 8-12 were following a hybrid model of two in-school days and three out-of-school. Until Nov. 30, classes on non-vacation days in all grades will all be virtual.
The board is planning to meet again on Saturday, Nov. 28, in the high school auditorium at 7 p.m. to see where the data is at that point, to make a path forward.
The board also decided that all athletic practices for the upcoming winter sports seasons are off over the next two weeks.