PSEA: Not all districts following COVID-19 guidelines; remote learning encouraged in some counties

HARRISBURG, Pa. — Officials with the Pennsylvania State Education Association report that not all districts across the state are following COVID-19 guidelines issued by the departments of Health and Education.

According to PSEA, districts in counties with a “substantial” level of community spread should operate entirely remotely. That level is reached when there are 100 or more positive cases for every 100,000 people or a 10% or higher positivity rate.

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At the beginning of the school year, PSEA officials said only one county fit that criteria. By the end of last week, the group said 38 of the state’s 67 counties were at that level. That’s nearly 60% of the state.

The only counties in southwestern Pennsylvania that fit the bill right now are Butler and Indiana.

A news release from the PSEA did not specify which districts were not complying.

“It is absolutely unacceptable for any school district to disregard the advice of medical professionals and scientists during a pandemic and put the safety of students, staff and their families at risk,” PSEA president Rich Askey said in a news release. “Our concern is that in-person instruction in communities with a substantial spread of the virus will put the health and safety of everyone in those school communities at risk.”

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PSEA is an affiliate of the National Education Association and represents about 180,000 teachers, school employees, support personnel, nurses and college students, among others.