Hybrid learning continues despite three new confirmed COVID cases


Jade Hom

Superintendent Greg Martineau and Principal Sean Bevan oversee students as they enter school to ensure they follow proper social distancing measures.

Laura Anderson, Managing Editor

After being informed of three additional COVID-19 cases in the Algonquin community, Superintendent of Schools Greg Martineau sent an email to parents on Tuesday, Oct. 20 afternoon regarding safety and the status of hybrid learning.

There are now four confirmed cases in the Algonquin community, but according to Principal Sean Bevan, none of the cases were transmitted throughout the school. 

“These cases we’re looking at now, and no cases in any of the district schools, have involved school transmission,” Bevan said in an interview via Zoom. “Meaning that they were able to track backward and figure out where these individuals contracted COVID-19, and it wasn’t in the school environment”

Bevan also said a “very, very minimal” amount of community members are currently in quarantine after the process of contact tracing. 

The Board of Health has determined people considered to be “close contacts” if they were within six feet of the infected person for 10-15 minutes within 48 hours from them being symptomatic or testing positive for COVID-19.

Director of Health Mary Ellen Duggan conducted interviews with teachers in order to contact trace after the reports of positive cases. According to Bevan, these interviews confirmed the solidity of the safety protocols the district has put in place.

“What we’re finding is when [Duggan’s] conducting these interviews, it’s reinforcing for us that the steps we’re taking to keep kids six feet apart and that they wear masks at all times and that their classroom activities don’t involve close contact, those things are keeping us safe,” Bevan said.

Martineau’s email emphasized the importance of open communication between administration and families, and the importance of following safety protocols not only in school but outside of school as well.

“We are informing the entire school community, as we believe transparency is essential,” Martineau said in his email. “This news of positive cases reminds us of the importance of following safety protocols both inside and outside of school.”

According to Bevan, learning will not have to return to full remote unless it is deemed by the medical advisory team unsafe to attend school in-person.

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On Monday, Oct. 19, Bevan sent an email to students encouraging them and their families to keep up the hard work of wearing masks and social distancing.

Bevan is pleased with the efforts he has seen from students to follow protocols throughout the first two weeks of hybrid learning and is hopeful about the future. 

“I think everybody is working incredibly hard to stay healthy and safe,” Bevan said. “Our primary goal is to keep people healthy and safe, and a result of doing that is we get to come to school in-person which has been really joyful and fun and an improvement over fully remote learning, so we want to do everything we can to keep that going.”