Daily school district COVID-19 risk levels: Aug. 26, 2020

Risk levels are based on COVID cases reported in a community and determine how schools will operate.

Risk levels are one of the major tools the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District uses to determine the status of schools. Currently, John O’Brien, superintendent, has said central peninsula schools will be closed to on-site learning until at least Sept. 8.

To determine the status of schools, KPBSD also uses input from seven-day averages of positive cases, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services, the Alaska Department of Education and Early Learning, and the COVID-19 Community Risk Level Medical Advisory Group.

DHSS created risk levels as part of a plan to reopen long-term care facilities to visitors, but DHSS says risk levels also can be used to inform decisions by other entities, including schools, institutions of higher learning and businesses.

The Alaska School Activities Association also is using risk levels to make determinations on practices and games for activities and sports.

Central Peninsula — High Risk

The central peninsula, or Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling and “other North,” had two resident cases reported by the state Wednesday for a total of 58 cases in the last 14 days.

The central peninsula is high risk when there are 52 or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are 51 to 26 cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are 25 or fewer cases in the last 14 days.

According to the district’s Smart Start plan, at high risk, “Buildings are closed to students and learning is 100% remote. Possible exception for ‘vulnerable populations’ of students individually or in small groupings.”

For sports, ASAA says sports competitions cease at high risk. Outdoor practices are preferred with 10 feet maintained between all individuals, but indoor practices may occur with specific protocols in place.

Southern Peninsula — Low Risk

The southern peninsula, or Homer, Fritz Creek, Anchor Point and “other South,” had one resident case reported by the state Wednesday for a total of seven cases in the last 14 days.

The southern peninsula is at high risk when there are 20 or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are 19 to 10 cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are nine cases or fewer in the last 14 days.

According to the district’s Smart Start plan, at low risk, “Buildings are open and learning is conducted with additional protocols for health, safety, and continuity. Parents may select for students to learn remotely.”

For sports, ASAA allows practices and competitions to take place at low-risk level, but fewer restrictions are in place than at medium-risk level.

Eastern Peninsula — Low Risk

The eastern peninsula, or Seward, had no resident cases reported by the state Wednesday for a total of no cases in the last 14 days.

The eastern peninsula is at high risk when there are eight or more cases in the last 14 days, medium risk when there are four to seven cases in the last 14 days, and low risk when there are three or fewer cases in the last 14 days.

According to the district’s Smart Start plan, at low risk, “Buildings are open and learning is conducted with additional protocols for health, safety, and continuity. Parents may select for students to learn remotely.”

For sports, ASAA allows practices and competitions to take place at low-risk level, but fewer restrictions are in place than at medium-risk level.

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