COVID cases lead to ISD closure

Pathfinder Center in quarantine until Sept. 13

CENTREVILLE — A number of COVID-19 cases that occurred at the St. Joseph County Intermediate School District has led to a closure of the Pathfinder Center until Sept. 13.

According to a letter from Superintendent Teresa Belote sent to parents Wednesday, the ISD was informed of a total of four positive cases of COVID-19 within the Pathfinder Center program, with one additional positive case and additional close contacts reported Thursday to bring the total to five positive cases. In addition to the positive cases noted in the letter, there were over 30 staff and students quarantined due to the positive cases, with a third of those quarantined experiencing symptoms.

 “Our programs currently serve approximately 94 students, so these numbers are of significant concern,” Belote wrote. “We have been working with our local health department [Wednesday] with contract tracing. They have identified our cases as an outbreak and have sent a letter for us to quarantine through September 12, with a return date of September 13.”

This is the first classified outbreak of COVID-19 reported in St. Joseph County schools since the 2021-22 academic year began. The Pathfinder Center began school on Aug. 23.

The quarantine began Thursday, and the five school days missed will be treated as “Act of God” days, which are similar to snow days. Currently, the state allows six “Act of God” Days throughout the year, and any additional days past those six would be made up at the end of the year.

“We know this is a hardship on families and we wished we had another option,” Belote wrote. “We are concerned for the health and safety of our students, as well as their academic growth.”

Robert Tomlinson can be reached at 279-7488 ext. 23 or robert@threeriversnews.com.

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