Multiple COVID-19 cases, dozens of quarantines close Edwardsburg school

NOW: Multiple COVID-19 cases, dozens of quarantines close Edwardsburg school

EDWARDSBURG, Mich. -- After a wave of COVID-19 cases hit Berrien County schools, Cass County has now shut down its first school due to the virus.

Edwardsburg Public Schools made the announcement Sunday night after two middle schoolers tested positive and over 30 were told to quarantine. This is on top of one positive case and dozens of quarantines announced at the school last week.

While elementary and high school students went back to the classrooms Monday. middle schoolers will be doing E-learning for at least this week due to the outbreak, which officials have now learned started with the volleyball team. 

“Unfortunately, with this group it happened to be a volleyball player who initiated this with the 41 kids last week and we’ve led to this where we had a trace yesterday, another 32 middle school and a couple high school kids,” said Superintendent James Knoll.

The influx at the district is also consistent with an upward trend of cases throughout the county.

“We’re anticipating this to be just the beginning,” said Danielle Persky, Deputy Health Officer for the Cass/Van Buren County Health Department. “Just in the past two weeks we had 112 new cases – we’re only at 611 cases total – so that means in the past two weeks we have had roughly 20 percent of all cases since the beginning.”

Despite this being a result of students being back in the building, Superintendent Knoll said there is still a benefit to in-person learning.

“It’s undeniable that it’s best for students to be in school with teachers, it’s really difficult to have a really good educational experience when you’re remote,” said Knoll.

Even with school’s doing their part to stop the spread, Persky said the community has to commit to following safety protocols all of the time. 

“It’s been a harsh reminder that nothing’s changed unfortunately and we let our guard down, but all we have to do is buckle down as individuals.”

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