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GENOA – Students in Genoa-Kingston District 424 are putting in-person learning on hold for three days due to a confirmed COVID-19 case in the district which contact tracers fear could have exposed others in the district.
The Genoa-Kingston school system took a three-day pause to in-person learning beginning Tuesday through at least Thursday while the district conducts contract tracing and awaits test results for others who were exposed to the positive person.
"Through contact tracing, we decided we couldn't provide appropriate services at the district level until we sorted through the potential close contacts from the positive case," Superintendent Brent O'Daniell said. "So we're taking the three-day pause to sort through the contact tracing and determine who needs quarantine and who doesn't. Then we'll make a decision moving forward as long as we have the staff we need to continue operating."
O'Daniell said he didn't expect the pause to go longer than three days. Currently, the plan is for school at all levels to resume on Friday. O'Daniell said the only way he really saw the pause being extended if too many staff members test positive and creates a staffing shortage.
"It depends on how many positives come back from the contact tracing," O'Daniell said. "We have some individuals that are going to need to get tested because they were deemed to have come into close contact. ... But I hope we are able to get back on board Friday. It all depends on what happens with the contact tracing."
According to a report released by the school last week, There were still less than 10 cases each in students and staff. For the week of Oct. 11, less than 10 staff were quarantined, as were 30 students.
O'Daniell said the district chose the three-day pause in order to let test results come back for potential positive cases.
"Typically through Northwestern Medicine, it takes about two days to get a test result back," O'Daniell said. "We're not sending them to a free clinic which takes four to seven days. We're trying to get it done in two days."