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Mackay sticks with in-person learning after staffers, student test positive for COVID-19


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BOISE — The Mackay School District is staying the course with in-person learning after two staff members and a student tested positive for COVID-19.

Superintendent Susan Buescher told EdNews Monday that another confirmed case in the district would “probably” prompt leaders to shift instruction for its roughly 220 students to a fully online model.

“It’s not fun, but it is what it is — it’s our new reality,” Buescher said.

While Buescher wouldn’t say if the two staff members who tested positive were teachers, she did confirm that one of their confirmed cases surfaced after students returned to school in person Tuesday. That staffer has since been hospitalized.

The other staffer and high school student who tested positive have been recovering from home, Buescher added.

The student’s positive test result put him and 10 of his high school football teammates in a two-week quarantine. The players will be allowed to return to school on Aug. 31.

Custer County, where Mackay is situated, has had 18 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to state numbers. Buescher said she isn’t aware of other active cases in her district, and that officials at Eastern Idaho Public Health have directed her to “keep students going” if a particular school or grade level have not been impacted.

Mackay has a population of about 500 people and is located some 80 miles northwest of Idaho Falls.

This article was originally posted on on August 24, 2020