EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WLAX/WEUX) – Students at Regis Middle and High School will be taking classes online for the next two weeks after a rise in COVID-19 cases among staff and students. First news at nine’s Denton Postlewait explains what led to this decision.
Paul Pedersen, Regis Middle & High School Principal said, “I think it was the right thing to do.”
After a recent spike in COVID-19 at Regis Middle and High School, Principal Paul Pedersen says to protect the health and safety of students and staff, the school will be going virtual for the next two weeks.
Pederson said, “We knew we were never immune from this sort of thing happening, but last week we saw it set in. We had an administrative meeting at the end of the day on Friday and after talking through it, there wasn’t a lot of conversation about what the next right thing to do.”
The decision comes with more than 160 Regis students currently in quarantine and eight who have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Sunday.
Eau Claire City-County Health Department Director Lieske Giese says the health department recommended all students and staff at Regis should get tested for COVID-19 due to the increase in cases.
Giese said, “Our recommendation Friday was to have all staff and students tested. It is a strategy that we used in any outbreak situation, so nothing different than we would do in a typical situation like this.”
Based on guidance from the health department, the Regis administration decided to temporarily move class online.
“You’re always going to get mixed results in terms of people’s impressions or feelings about if we did the right thing or not. This is a good time for use to hit pause if you will. Try to get a reset, restart, and regain the momentum. Make sure we are aware of the health and well-being of our students,” said Pederson,
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Regis girls volleyball and tennis teams canceled postseason play. However, Pedersen says all other sports and extracurriculars will continue for now.
Pederson said, “If anything happens with any of our other sports, going into winter sports whether it is football or hockey. If we get to the part where it is the right thing to do is to make the right choice to shut them down, then we are committed to doing that.”
The school system hopes to resume in person classes November 9.
Pederson said, “We go one day at a time and we really, we’ll make the changes as to our need. 14 is what we are starting with. If we feel like it needs to be more, we can add on some. If we return to in-class instruction and we have to do this again, we will.”
In Eau Claire Denton Postlewait