BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — Lakeview High School in Battle Creek has switched to virtual learning due to a COVID-19 outbreak.
The Wednesday move came as the result of an order from the Calhoun County Public Health Department. The school is scheduled to go back to in-person learning on Monday, Sept. 27.
In the interim, students can still participate in both indoor and outdoor sports and other extracurriculars. Health noted that while these activities do pose a risk, it so far has not found specific links between cases among teams.
“We will continue to implement preventative measures as recommended by the health department,” a Lakeview district spokesperson said Wednesday.
The health department says that between the start of school and Tuesday, 29 students and two staff members tested positive for the virus, with the earliest symptoms showing up Aug. 28.
“Multiple classrooms and also across grade levels. Also important to note that the health department determined that there were students attending while they had symptoms,” Calhoun County Medical Director Dr. William Nettleton told News 8. “Approximately 132 students have been quarantined as related to the outbreak itself. So this actually the largest school-associated outbreak that we’ve had in Calhoun County since the beginning of the pandemic.”
The health department is recommending students avoid large gatherings with other students.
It said it limited its order to the high school because “continuing in-person learning when possible is paramount.”
“The in-person learning pause is a population-level intervention for one specific learning environment. Students without symptoms and without known exposure may continue at other learning environments as long as COVID-19 prevention protocols are in place,” the release read in part.
It urged parents to get students age 12 and up vaccinated against the virus and to keep them home from school if they are sick. It said the wearing of masks and social distancing will also help limit the spread of the virus.
—News 8’s David Horak contributed to this report.