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Quaker Valley shuts down middle, high school over increase in COVID-19 cases

PITTSBURGH — Officials with the Quaker Valley School District said they shut down the district’s middle school and high school for two weeks as there are now 15 positive COVID-19 cases.

By Tuesday, district officials reported 133 students and staff were in quarantine. There were five cases at the middle school and 10 at the high school.

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The district has moved to 100% online instruction for 14 days for students in grades 6-12. All athletic activities have also been cancelled until the schools reopen on Nov. 2.

The notice said the number of new cases exceeded “the recommended threshold for school closures” from the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

School officials said they were working with the Allegheny County Health Department to begin contact tracing. People will be notified personally by the school district or the health department if they will need to be quarantined.

Families are requested to not hold social gatherings during the two week period and parents are urged to report any positive tests or possible exposures to the district.

For the fifth time in October, Allegheny County reported triple-digit new cases of COVID-19. On Saturday, the county reported 138 new cases and two additional deaths from the virus.

During a school board meeting Tuesday night, administrators assured parents they are committed to transparency, saying they will post the latest numbers daily on the district’s website along with daily updates.

However, some parents said they want more, such as district officials posting cases on social media for the community at-large to be aware of what is happening. They also want a better breakdown of the numbers for cases by grade.

One parent said she has heard students aren’t wearing masks correctly and believes parents aren’t being fully informed about student exposures.