KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Blue Valley North confirmed at least one COVID-19 infection among student-athletes on the football team Monday, which also marked the start of high school practice across Kansas.
The revelation also comes one day before Johnson County school leaders are set to meet with health officials with schools set to reopen in less than three weeks.
Johnson County Department of Health and Environment Director Dr. Samni Areola will meet Tuesday with the superintendents of all six public school districts in Johnson County — Blue Valley, De Soto, Gardner-Edgerton, Olathe, Shawnee Mission and Spring Hill.
The meeting between school officials and Areola is informational only. No decisions will be made at the meeting.
It will be up to the individual districts to determine how to proceed, but they will be encouraged to consider the health department’s Public Health Recommendations for Safe School Reopening, which includes gating criteria.
Areola and his staff developed the guidelines based on local data about the COVID-19 pandemic along with expert opinion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Children’s Mercy Hospital.
The gating criteria, which factors in rates of positivity and the overall trajectory of new cases, was adopted at the request of local districts and has been adopted by school officials in Sedgwick and Riley counties, according to the JCDHE.
The Spring Hill School District, which is scheduled to start classes Aug. 26, will be the first of the districts to resume in-person instruction — aside from some summer school classes — since schools across the Kansas City area closed in late March.
De Soto, Olathe and Shawnee Mission schools are slated to start Sept. 8, followed by Blue Valley and Gardner-Edgerton on Sept. 9.