St. George Elementary navigating through COVID outbreak

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St. George Elementary was listed by KDHE as a COVID-19 cluster, having seen 22 cases since Sept. 2. District officials say they’ve narrowed the outbreak in cases primarily to a single grade level within the school. (Brandon Peoples/KMAN)

COVID numbers are said to be improving at St. George Elementary following an outbreak of cases last week.

At one point, as many as 22 cases had been reported since Sept. 2, the most of any active cluster in the state according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment’s website Wednesday. Rock Creek Schools Superintendent Kevin Logan provided an update on the situation during KMAN’s In Focus.

      0908-Logan numbers

Elsewhere, he says there have been less than a handful of positive cases at the middle and high school and at Westmoreland Elementary.

The district has implemented test to stay and test to stay and learn protocols thanks to a grant that has opened up on-site testing at schools. Logan says it’s helped the district in managing cases and would-be quarantines.

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Logan explains how the test to stay and learn program, for close contacts, works.

      0908-Logan test to stay and learn

Rock Creek Schools has no mask mandate in place, but will reportedly revisit that discussion at its Monday school board meeting.

Similar testing is now also taking place in Wamego schools. Interim Superintendent Greg Mann says the test to know and test to stay programs have generally worked well in his district. At the start of the new school year, Wamego’s positive cases and close contacts were relatively high, but as of Wednesday were much improved.

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The district implemented a mask mandate for the first three weeks of school, and let data dictate whether masks will be mandated or optional. Mann says they are at the end of that three week period.

      0908-Mann masks

According to the KDHE website, Pottawatomie County has two active clusters of COVID cases. In addition to St. George Elementary, Good Samaritan Society Valley Vista had five COVID positive tests since Sept. 2. The state currently has 23 active clusters.

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KMAN News Director and host of In Focus. Contact Brandon at Brandon@1350KMAN.com

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