Eagle Valley High School sees 20 positive COVID cases this week
The increase has had impacts on sports, classrooms
After only two weeks in school, Eagle County Schools has experienced a significant increase in positive COVID-19 cases at one of its high schools.
According to Superintendent Philip Qualman, just this week Eagle Valley High School in Gypsum has had 20 positive COVID-19 cases.
With the increase, the high school has had to cancel its DE Auto Repair class, which is a partner class with Colorado Mountain College, as the class has no substitute available. And, due to a number of positive cases among players and coaches of the school’s volleyball team, the high school had to cancel travel and competition for the team.
Currently, the district does not have data published on the number of students in quarantine at the high school or across the district. However, it is intending to have this data accessible on a COVID-19 dashboard on the school district’s website later this week. The dashboard has not been updated since June 3, the end of the previous school year.
In a recent column for the Vail Daily, Qualman wrote that despite this increase in cases, the district has been able to “maintain in-person and other school activities for all students, at all levels.”
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The district’s current mask mandate only requires facial coverings for all students, teachers, staff and visitors in buildings where students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade are present. In local high schools, where students are eligible for vaccination, masks are simply recommended given the high rates of vaccination among these age groups. According to Qualman’s column, under the advice of public health, “we strongly encourage high school students and staff to wear a mask when indoors.”
Eagle County Public Health and Environment Director Heath Harmon previously told the Vail Daily that “keeping schools open five days a week for in-person learning” was one of the county’s main priorities when considering the mask mandate in schools.
In his column, Qualman maintained that wearing masks and getting vaccinated will reduce the “impact of quarantines” and “keeps students in classrooms,” while also protecting the opportunity to participate in after school activities and athletics.