TEMPERANCE, Mich. – Smith Road Elementary is closing face-to-face instruction on Thursday through Nov. 4 due to cases of COVID-19 within the building.
The district was notified of a positive COVID-19 case within the building on Wednesday and received confirmation of an additional case on Thursday. There are three positive cases within the building and a fourth individual tested positive who visited the building.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we believe that in order to best support the health and safety of our students and staff, we need to close the building down for two weeks to prevent further potential outbreaks,” a letter sent to parents read.
The affected programs include the Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Head Start, and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP).
READ: Continuous coronavirus coverage
Read the letter from superintendent Dr. Carl Shultz below:
"This email is to inform you that Smith Road Elementary will be closed for face-to-face instruction starting Thursday, October 22, 2020 through Wednesday, November 4, 2020. Face-to-face instruction will resume on Thursday, November 5, 2020. The district received notification of a positive COVID-19 case within the building yesterday and immediately sent out a parent communication. Unfortunately, BPS has received additional positive case notifications at SRE today and despite support from the Monroe County Health Department (MCHD), Monroe County Intermediate School District (MCISD), and strong district contact tracing, we are not able to clearly isolate all potential close contacts. In addition, several close contacts from yesterday’s case are considered potential cases. The current total for positive cases within the building is three individuals, along with a fourth individual that has visited the building. Out of an abundance of caution, we believe that in order to best support the health and safety of our students and staff, we need to close the building down for two weeks to prevent further potential outbreaks.
While it is disappointing to temporarily have to suspend face-to-face instruction at SRE, it is understood that this will be a potential reality throughout this school year in order to take the precautions that help keep our community safe. The SRE Programs affected directly by this closure include Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE), Head Start, and Great Start Readiness Program (GSRP). Each individual program’s staff members will be communicating with their families independently to provide additional learning program details and to share learn-at-home resources throughout the temporary building closure.
At this time, MCHD health experts are working with leadership from both BPS and MCISD to continue to establish contact tracing protocol. If you are informed that your child has been in close contact (individuals within six feet apart for at least fifteen minutes) with a confirmed positive case, please follow the directions of the MCHD health expert that will be contacting you. If you do not receive any contact, then your child has not been identified as a close contact, but we ask that you please continue to monitor your child’s health for any new symptoms. If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Monroe County Health Department (MCHD) directly.
I want to thank you for your patience, understanding, and support as we continue to navigate learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. District leadership will continue to act responsibly to ensure that all possible mitigation strategies are implemented. The entire SRE Facility will be cleaned and sanitized immediately to ensure that students and staff return to a safe learning environment on November 5, 2020."
READ: Michigan school districts face difficult decisions with COVID-19 cases on the rise