Less than a week after closing its doors, Fruitland High School will be allowing students to return to classes Thursday.
Fruitland School District Superintendent Lyle Bayley announced the change in instruction on Wednesday afternoon in a letter posted to the district site.
“As you all are aware, we have been in the RED category with on-line instructional learning at the high school since last Friday,” Bayley wrote. “During this time, we have been in contact with the local health district daily to confirm the number of positive cases in our student body and we have good news to report today.”
Bayley said the school’s number of positive COVID-19 cases has not risen and claims that many of the students that did test positive over the past two weeks are now eligible to return to school. On Friday afternoon, Bayley said there were 23 cases of COVID-19 at the high school. On Thursday morning, Bayley said the active number of cases in the school was down to eight.
Because of this, Fruitland High School was able to begin classes today with the A cohort going to class on Thursday and Monday, and the B cohort going to class on Friday and Tuesday.
The reopening of the school means that all activities, including athletics, can continue immediately.
Bayley said the school district will be reevaluating the school’s situation on Oct. 14.
When students do return to classes, they will be required to wear face coverings. This was voted on by the board on Tuesday afternoon.
The change in the rule followed Bayley saying that teachers told him that the younger students in the district are adhering to the face covering requirement, with adherence to the rule declining with the older students. Bayley said this shows that facial coverings are slowing the spread of the virus, as the elementary school has the fewest positive cases of COVID in the district while the high school has the highest.