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UPDATE: Regis Middle and High Schools going virtual for two weeks due to spike in COVID-19 cases

Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 7:14 PM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - 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.

Students at Regis Middle and High School will be taking classes online for the next two weeks...
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.(weau)

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.

“I think it was the right thing to do. We knew we were never immune from this sort of thing happening, but last week we saw it set in,” Pedersen says. “We had an administrative meeting at the 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 be tested for COVID-19 due to the increase in cases.

“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 situations like this,” Giese says.

Based on guidance from the health department, Regis administration decided to temporarily move class online.

“You’re always going to get mixed results in terms of people’s impression or feelings about if we did the right thing or not,” Pedersen says. “This is a good time for use to hit pause if you will. Try to get a reset, restart and regain the momentum.”

Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Regis girls volleyball and tennis teams canceled postseason play. However, Pedersen says all other sports and extracurricular activities will continue for now.

“If anything happens with any of our other sports, going into winter sports whether it is football or hockey,” Pedersen says. “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.

“We go one day at a time and we really, we’ll make the changes as to our needed.14 days is what we are starting with,” Pedersen says. “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.”

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Regis Catholic Schools has announced that middle and high school students will be learning virtually for two weeks due to COVID-19 cases among staff and students.

As of Sunday, Regis Catholic Schools is reporting eight students and one staff member at the Regis campus have tested positive for COVID-19.

164 students and two staff members at the Regis campus are currently in quarantine.

The elementary schools (Immaculate Conception Elementary School, St. James Elementary School and St. Mary’s Elementary School) will remain open.

Across the elementary buildings, four staff have tested positive for COVID-19. 42 students and 3 staff members are currently in quarantine.

Regis Catholic Schools will be deep cleaning the buildings and classrooms during the two weeks.

Students can arrange with the school a time to pick up any materials they left at school they made need for virtual learning.

The school district hopes to resume in-person classes on Nov. 9.

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October 24-

Regis Catholic Schools sent an email to families Friday evening recommending all students and staff get tested for COVID-19 as soon as possible, even for those who do not have symptoms.

In the email obtained by WEAU, President Kelly K. Mechelke and Dean Father James Kurzynski say the recommendation comes from the Eau Claire City-County Health Department as the school system experiences a higher number of COVID-19 cases compared to the first eight weeks of school.

Regis Catholic Schools will remain open for in-person classes.

Students who get tested and are not experiencing symptoms can return to school right away, while those are experiencing symptoms are asked to stay home until results are received.

Earlier this week, the Regis High School girls volleyball and tennis teams withdrew from postseason play due to “health concerns”.

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