URGSD COVID-19 cases cause school to move to remote learning



DEL NORTE- The Upper Rio Grande School District (URGSD) announced Tuesday, Dec. 8 that the schools’ students and staff would be going to online learning effective immediately.
In a statement released by Superintendent Chris Burr the district will be taking precautions to ensure the school’s safety and have chosen to close for the remaining six days of the second semester. Burr stated that the exposure that occurred happened when a parent of two students tested positive but the students were not quarantined for the recommended timeframe.
“The students were not quarantined as suggested by guidelines, and attended school last week, as well as for a short time this week. The school was not made aware of the parent’s positive test; therefore, the school did not know that the students should have been quarantined. The two students tested positive for COVID-19 Monday, Dec. 7,” stated Superintendent Chris Burr.
As soon as the school was made aware of the situation, the district took immediate action and began preparing for online learning with their students and staff. Burr stated that the school has been working closely with Rio Grande Public Health officials and Rio Grande Hospital CEO Arlene Harms to implement what needed to be done next.
It wasn’t until later in the afternoon of Dec. 7 that the school was notified that a teacher who has close contact with elementary students has tested positive for the virus but remains asymptomatic. It was after this notification the school opted to be proactive in the situation and sent students home for the remainder of the semester. Burr stated that, “Arlene Harms and our hospital have been great to work with. If there are failures in the system, it is not because our local health care workers are doing anything wrong.”
Burr continued, “We believe that our Dry Hydrogen Peroxide system is keeping everyone safe from spread here at school. We encourage all students who may have had close contact to get tested. Nurse Julie Sauvigne will be contacting all students who were a close contact according to our tracing. Please keep us informed on any test results, positive or negative.”
Burr stated that now it is more important than ever for students and parents to notify the school if a child is experiencing symptoms and to get them tested. Contact tracing will be continuing as information is made available to the appropriate officials.
Burr concluded, “We have no evidence of spreading at the school at this time, and this would be the very first case of anyone contracting the virus here at school, if that is indeed the case, which we will never truly know for certain. We will be waiting patiently for the next 10 days or so, hoping that no other student or staff member tests positive as a result of this incident.”

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