New Rules Could Force Local Schools to Close for Two Weeks

New PA rules regarding closing public school when a certain number of COVID-19 cases are recorded could force local schools to close on short notice. Image via Philadelphia Inquirer.

New Pennsylvania rules that state public schools have to revert to online tuition when they record a certain number of COVID-19 cases could force local schools – including in the Wissahickon School District – to close on short notice, writes Maddie Hanna for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Last week, Pennsylvania officials notified preK-12 schools that they can continue to teach students in person even amid surging COVID-19 numbers. However they must submit an attestation form that they will follow face-covering mandates and protocols when cases are identified in a school building.

The officials also laid out specific numbers of cases that trigger the closure of a school building.

A school with fewer than 500 students and five or more recorded COVID-19 cases over two weeks is recommended to close for 14 days. For schools that have between 500 and 900 students, the threshold is seven cases, and for those with over 900 students, it is 11 cases.

These rules mean schools may have to close on very short notice.

“This is going to be like snow days, except there’s no snow around,” said Wissahickon School District Superintendent James Crisfield.

Read more about the new rules at The Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.

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