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WCMS reopens Nov. 19 after closing due to COVID-19 cases

Whitehall-Coplay Middle School is closed to students until Nov. 19 due to confirmed positive COVID-19 cases.

Originally, administration announced WCMS would be closed for two days - Nov. 12 and 13 - following confirmation that two staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus. The first notifications came Nov. 11 and 12. The closure came as a result of contact tracing and quarantining of additional staff members, with guidance from Pennsylvania Department of Health.

An additional staff member tested positive Nov. 13, and the call was made to remain closed until Nov. 19, according to Whitehall-Coplay School District.

A Nov. 16 notification informed families two middle school students also tested positive. All classrooms and spaces utilized by those who tested positive will be cleaned according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.

All WCMS students were to log on to their teachers’ Google Classroom sites and work accordingly. Students are expected to return to the regular blended instruction Nov. 19. All extracurricular activities at WCMS were canceled during the school closure.

Additionally, notifications were made Nov. 16 regarding one learn-at-home high school student and one in-person student at Whitehall High School who tested positive. Previously, families were informed of a positive case for a student at Gockley Elementary School, and a student at WHS, according to notifications Nov. 11 and 12, respectively.

Another notification Nov. 13 informed families of three positive cases regarding learn-at-home WHS students. As these students have not been inside the school building this academic year, the high school remained open.

WHS previously closed Nov. 3-6 and Sept. 25-29 following a number of positive cases within a week.

The COVID-19 notification letters from WCSD remind families Lehigh County recently moved to the substantial classification for COVID-19 community transmission.

“With this new information, the district will need to monitor the situation very closely, as it may impact our instructional delivery in the future,” the letters state.

WCSD continues to urge families and students to monitor for symptoms and to keep students home if they exhibit any COVID-19 symptoms. A screening procedure card is available to help parents/guardians recognize signs of the virus.

Guidance to help reduce the spread of the virus includes the proper use of a face mask, avoiding touching faces, appropriate hand washing technique, avoiding contact with frequently touched surfaces and social distancing.