Schools temporarily closing, others quarantining hundreds of students due to COVID-19 illnesses

MIAMI VALLEY — Multiple school districts in the Miami Valley are reporting high numbers of students who are quarantined due to COVID-19.

As a result of quarantines and reported illness, some schools are moving to virtual learning have cancelled classes.

>>Delta variant in the Miami Valley: Nearly 6,000 new COVID-19 cases reported in Ohio in last 24 hours

The latest Miami Valley district to close due to illnesses was Carlisle Local Schools, who decided to close Sept. 2 and 3 after the absentee rate in the district reached 35 percent. Classes are set to resume in the Warren County district after Labor Day, on Tuesday Sept. 7.

A district spokesperson said the decision to close the school was due in part to positive COVID-19 cases and quarantines, as well as other illnesses like colds, flu, strep throat, and allergies.

“In order to help curb the spread of all of this, we will be closed on Thursday, 9/2, and Friday, 9/3, to allow us to assess our practices and to allow our students and staff to recover from whatever might be impacting them. This will also allow us to continue to keep our buildings, buses, and equipment clean,” the district spokesperson said in a statement posted to the district’s website Wednesday.

The district plans to keep masks optional for students, however when classes resume masks will be “strongly” recommended in situations were students are in close contact with one another.

“If we have another spike in positive cases and excessive absenteeism, we might have to consider closing for an extended period of time while going remote AND/OR putting a mandatory mask mandate in place. At this time, we will remain mask optional until such time we have no other choice but to do so,” the spokesperson said.

School superintendents across Warren County are working with the Ohio Department of Health and the Warren County Health District on a possible pilot program in the county that calls for relaxing the quarantine procedures. Additional details about the program were not released by Carlisle schools.

Carlisle joined another Warren County district, Lebanon schools in closing school buildings through Labor Day after a surge in cases.

Lebanon reported over 900 students were in quarantine this week and closed all school buildings, with classes set to resume Sept. 7.

Huber Heights City Schools said it has so many students with COVID-19 or quarantined, that the district cannot keep going the way things are right now.

>> RELATED: Wayne HS switching to remote learning for 2 weeks amid increase in COVID cases

“The caseload has become so overwhelming in grades 9-12 that we cannot sustain operations at Wayne High School; therefore, we will be transitioning Wayne High School students to remote learning for two weeks,” Superintendent Mario Basora said in a letter sent to parents Monday.

District leaders also cited issues with the air conditioning system at the high school in the decision to transition to remote learning. Wayne High School students will return to in-person learning Sept. 15.

Since August 16, over 60 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in the Huber Heights district that resulted in at least 300 students being quarantined.

Bellbrook-Sugarcreek Schools said it has nearly 200 students in quarantine, but the district is keeping schools open.

>> Coronavirus: McDonald’s, other restaurants closing dining rooms amid surging caseloads

Dixie Elementary in the New Lebanon Local Schools district closed Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 due to illness, according to the school’s website.

We will continue to monitor school districts in the Miami Valley and update you if any other schools make changes as a result of COVID-19 or reported illness.