Face masks

Protective masks, normally used for surgery, are now in use to fight the Corona Virus SARS-nCov-19.

A school, a whole ninth grade class and various classrooms around the school district are under heightened protocols for Covid-19 to include masking and regular testing.

Students and staff who refuse masks and virus tests are expected to isolate at home, according to the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District’s “Maintaining In-Person Learning During Covid-19” plan.

Thirty-six schools are listed on the school district virus information dashboard. Eight schools on Friday afternoon showed no Covid-19 cases reported during the last seven days. Twelve schools had one or two cases listed.

The school with the highest number of cases, per the seven-day case count, was Ladd Elementary School with 18 cases. The information dashboard showed 17 cases were reported over the last seven days at Lathrop High School. Hunter Elementary School, which has one class under heightened protocols, listed 15 cases over the last seven days as of Friday.

Two Rivers K-8 was the only school with school-wide heightened protocols. The dashboard listed seven new cases over the last week for that school.

The 2021-2022 Covid-19 online information dashboard showed that all ninth grade students at Hutchison High School were also masking up, testing every three days for Covid-19 or isolating at home. The school had six cases listed for the previous seven days.

Midnight Sun Elementary School had two classes and Hunter Elementary School and Tanana Middle School each had one class taking extra virus precautions.

Rebecca Hurbi, executive director of Communications, Development & Engagement at the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District, said the extra protocols are in accordance with a school district plan to keep schools open during ongoing spread of Covid-19.

The plan states: “When there is a known transmission identified within a class, team, group or school community, heightened protection protocols are an opportunity for individuals to be able to continue with in-person school instead of closing an entire classroom, several classrooms, or school.

“Regular surveillance testing of students and staff will be required to attend school. In addition, affected students and staff will be asked to wear a mask until the exposure and transmission risk have been mitigated. Families have the choice to follow the heightened protection protocol or may choose to keep their students home during the duration of the modified operations.”

The school district reported 161 Covid-19 positive students and staff during the last seven days as of Friday at close of business, according to the online information dashboard.

Contact staff writer Amanda Bohman at 907-459-7545, at abohman@newsminer.com or follow her at twitter.com/FDNMborough.

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