Olathe Board of Education addresses spike in COVID-19 cases in Johnson County

Posted at 8:41 PM, Nov 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-05 23:40:36-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — During its regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting Thursday, the Olathe School District discussed the spike in new COVID-19 cases in Johnson County.

At the meeting, the board was discussing whether it should change learning in the district from in-person or a hybrid-model to remote learning. However, it made no decision.

The district follows the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment’s gating criteria.

Due to the spike in new cases across the county, on Tuesday JDHE moved its recommended phase for school reopening from “Orange” to “Red.”

In doing so, the county said it is not recommending schools change how they are operating.

Data from the county health department shows the highest number of new cases come from people aged 20 to 60. Many of the new cases have been traced to large group gatherings, such as church events and parties.

The Excelsior Springs School District announced Thursday that its high school would go back to remote learning until Thanksgiving after learning of additional COVID-19 cases.

On Facebook, the district said more than 150 students and multiple staff members were quarantined. The cases, according to the district, were related to a series of parties held over Halloween weekend.

“We found out through our contact tracing that a number of parties were held over the Halloween weekend where positive COVID cases were spread to multiple students," the district said. "Those infected students then brought COVID into our schools and athletic teams.”

Turner High School also returned to virtual learning this week after a number of students tested positive. The high school made the decision to go remote until after Thanksgiving after speaking with the Unified Government Public Health Department.

There are currently 130 students and 30 staff members in quarantine.