BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — Editor's note: Video in the player above was originally published Aug. 30, 2021.
3 classrooms switch to virtual learning at Highland Elementary in Brecksville-Broadview Heights district after students test positive for COVID-19
After a spell of positive COVID-19 cases, the Brecksville-Broadview Heights school district is requiring all students and staff in grades K-5 to wear masks "effective immediately and until further notice."
This comes after cases at Highland Drive Elementary School prompted three of its classrooms to go all virtual. According to the BBHCSD COVID-19 Reporting Chart, Highland had three students test positive for the virus this week. Since the start of school on Aug. 18, there have been 11 cumulative cases within Highland.
"The District's primary objective is to keep students and staff learning in-person," Superintendent Joelle M. Magyar said in a statement. "However, the stark realities of trying to do so, recognizing that positive cases are intermittently emerging, require District leaders to be prepared to keep students learning as safely as possible. We ask for your continued patience and flexibility."
The district does not have a mask mandate for the rest of its buildings, but they are strongly recommended for all unvaccinated students and are required on busses regardless of age or vaccination status.
"If students and staff are masking, regardless of vaccination status, and are exposed to someone with COVID-19, individuals can safely remain in the normal in-person classroom setting and participate in extracurricular and sports activities as long as they have no symptoms," Magyar added.
Despite the current positive cases at Highland, there are only a small number of people in quarantine.
“We were able to greatly minimize the number of those who were required to quarantine in this case, because individuals chose to wear a mask,” Magyar said.
Throughout Northeast Ohio, mask mandates in schools have been a critical topic since students went back to the classroom. Many school districts such as Kirtland, Lorain, Hudson, Mayfield, Avon Lake and Willoughby-Eastlake have revised their safety protocols to include current mask mandates.
No teachers have been affected by positive COVID-19 cases at Highland since the start of the school year.