High case counts to keep schools remote for another week

Central and southern peninsula schools to continue remote learning through Oct. 28

This graphic shows the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District risk levels associated with different numbers of new COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)

This graphic shows the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District risk levels associated with different numbers of new COVID-19 cases. (Image courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough School District)

Thirty Kenai Peninsula Borough School District schools will continue operating remotely through at least Oct. 28 following a continued increase in regional COVID-19 cases reported by the state Wednesday.

Central peninsula schools and southern peninsula schools are currently operating at high-risk levels, which means learning is conducted 100% remotely. Central peninsula schools moved into high risk on Oct. 13 and began remote learning on Oct. 14. Southern peninsula schools moved into high risk Monday and began remote learning on Tuesday.

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.

In the last 14 days, the central peninsula, which includes Kenai, Nikiski, Soldotna, Sterling and “other North,” has reported 96 cases, including 12 reported Wednesday. In order for central peninsula schools to drop back into medium-risk level, 45 cases would need to be removed from the 14-day case count.

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.

In the last 14 days, the southern peninsula, which includes Homer, Fritz Creek, Anchor Point and “other South” has reported 27 cases, including two reported Wednesday. In order for southern peninsula schools to drop back into medium-risk level, eight cases would need to be removed from the 14-day case count.

Eastern peninsula schools have also been operating 100% remotely since Oct. 9. 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.

In the last 14 days, the eastern peninsula, which includes Seward, has reported nine cases, including one reported Wednesday. In order for eastern peninsula schools to drop back into medium risk level, two cases would need to be removed from the 14-day case count.

During 100% remote learning, Get-It and Go meals are free for all students and can be picked up daily at school between 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Meals will not be available on Oct. 29 or on Oct. 30 due to parent-teacher conferences. Pre-K, kindergarten and special education intensive needs students can still attend classes in-person during 100% remote learning.

In determining whether to reopen a school to on-site learning, the district and their Medical Advisory Team analyze 14-day positive case counts, analyze the seven-day positivity trend, consult with medical providers and review their school decision matrix.

Operational risk levels, case incidence rates and case numbers by community are updated daily on the district’s risk-levels dashboard at covid19.kpbsd.org/dashboard.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

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