Plumas Unified School District schools, including the Pioneer campus of Quincy Elementary School reverted to distance learning this week due to confirmed cases in several school sites. File photo by Roni Java

PUSD announces four more cases with contact tracing underway

By Debra Moore

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Plumas Unified School District announced this afternoon, Nov. 16, that to date there are eight confirmed cases of coronavirus in the school district — two staff members and six students. Here is the breakdown:

Announced last week
Chester Elementary School – 1 staff member
Quincy Elementary School Pioneer campus – 1 student (This information is new.)
Quincy Elementary School Alder campus – 1 student
Quincy Junior Senior High School – 1 student

Announced this afternoon
Chester Elementary School – 1 student
Greenville Elementary School – 1 staff member
Quincy Elementary School Pioneer campus – 1 student
Quincy Elementary School Alder campus – 1 student

Plumas Unified School District Terry Oestreich said in an interview this morning that district office staff helped the Plumas County Public Health Agency notify students that were impacted. She noted that 25 high school students were identified as having potential contact with the COVID-positive Quincy High student, since high school students move between classrooms.

In a statement released this afternoon she said, “What we learned last Friday was the significant amount of time it takes to engage in contact tracing. As a result of the latest update regarding positive tests, the amount of time for Public Health and/or designee to conduct the investigations may take a few days to accomplish. Those needing to schedule a COVID test will be identified through the contract tracing process.”

All principals will notify their staff and the students within the impacted classroom/s as soon as possible.

Plumas Unified schools reverted to distance learning this week and next week is the regularly scheduled Thanksgiving break. During Wednesday night’s school board meeting, the trustees are scheduled to discuss extending distance learning through the week following Winter break, which would bring students back to the classroom Jan. 11, 2021.

Plumas Charter School

Plumas Charter School students in Quincy, Chester and Greenville are also in distance learning this week. (Greenville campuses had planned to remain open, but news of the case at Greenville Elementary has impacted that.)

The charter school is also scheduled to be off for the Thanksgiving break next week, and had already decided to go to distance learning the week following that break, since it’s anticipated that there will be family gatherings and potentially travel, and it would be safer to add a buffer week.

During an interview this morning, Executive Director Taletha Washburn said distance learning could extend into the new year as well for charter school students. The Plumas Charter School board is scheduled to meet Monday, Nov. 23, to discuss that option.

As of this morning, Plumas Charter had no positive cases, though Washburn said administrators were tracking two potential cases last week. “We’ve been doing everything we can to keep our students safe,” she said, noting that tracing is very important.

She and Oestreich met with Public Health Director Andrew Woodruff to discuss the situation.

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