AKRON, N.Y. (WKBW) — Just 11-days into the new school year and there are positive COVID cases and quarantined students.
Patrick D. McCabe, Superintendent of the Akron Central School District, tells 7 Eyewitness News 108 students in are in quarantine due to between 24 and 26 positive COVID-19 cases in the district.
According to McCabe, of the positive COVID-19 cases 17 are high school students with six on the JV football team. The team is now on pause. He also said one elementary classroom will have to transition to virtual learning.
This was unanticipated…we all were aware of the Delta variant. However it certainly came much faster than, I think, anyone could have anticipated.
In the Springville Griffth Central School District an entire classroom was closed for the day.
“We acted that way out of caution and not inconvenience families,” explained Kimberly Moritz, superintendent, Springville Schools.
Springville has had 21 cases since the start of the school year.
Superintendent Moritz says a majority of sixth graders will be allowed to return to the classroom Thursday, while 26 others will be in quarantine for 10 days.
Akron Superintendent McCabe tells 7 Eyewitness News there are 24 to 26 confirmed COVID student cases and at least two staff cases, again with 108 students under quarantine.
“So, we are now in a situation where we have an elementary classroom that is the entire classroom will now have to transition to virtual,” McCabe noted.
That is a 4th grade class in the district.
17 of the cases are among high school students, six on the Akron JV football team tested positive. That team is now on pause.
McCabe says the district is working closely with Erie County to best address the situation.
“As we start to work with the county, and look at these 17 high school cases, we are looking at approximately up to 13 more classrooms that may be impacted by multiply students in the same room,” McCabe replied.
The district also issued a letter postponing open house on Thursday.
Some parents say Erie County's quarantine guidance too restrictive.
“I want Erie County to take a step back,” declared Molly Schrock, Akron School parent.
Schrock says her 9th grade son, who is not vaccinated, is under quarantine because he is on the JV football team.
“Why are vaccinated kids that are in close contact with a COVID positive case not doing the same procedures as an unvaccinated children,” Schrock said.
Schrock says guidance discriminates against the unvaccinated students.
“You can’t test to come back to school, and that’s an Erie County Department of Health guideline," remarked Schrock.
But Superintendent McCabe says they must trace any student that could have been in contact with a COVID case.
“We have to do contact tracing in the classroom, on the school bus, in the cafeteria, in athletics — in any other extra circular activity,” McCabe replied.
But Schrock says her son won't be allowed to return to the classroom until September 27th and is missing too much in-person learning.
“There's right no way for him to kind of keep up and learn with what's going on. He's an high honor student and right now he's got a 38 in earth science because he missed two assignments,” reflected Schrock.
The superintendent says the district is now working with teachers to create a learning plan for quarantine students.
“My son has to quarantine and has been in quarantine and is a 100-percent symptom free since his quarantine,” Schrock said. “I am most interested in trying to keep these kids in school.”
Superindent Moritz says she’s not sure right now if the cases are from in-school spread.
“I don’t know that we’ve had spread within our school classrooms,” Moritz noted. “I would like to think that it’s not spreading within our schools.”