COVID cases in the Bethlehem Area School District continue to rise incrementally

Written by on September 16, 2020

COVID cases in the Bethlehem Area School District continue to rise incrementally

By Tyler Pratt

September 16, 2020

COVID-19 cases in the Bethlehem Area School District continue to rise incrementally, with five cases across four schools reported this week.

The district is currently one of the few in the Lehigh Valley publicly reporting cases – through its online coronavirus dashboard. And as WLVR’s Tyler Pratt reports, district officials say they’re expecting more cases. 

The majority of BASD’s 13,000 students are back: in person, part time, masked and split up. But district superintendent Joseph Roy says when you add staff and family members, the risk multiplies. 

“50,000 plus people connected to the school district – We’re gonna have cases and we’ve had a few cases – the key is for us to monitor it and keep those mitigation steps in places so the cases that are not spreading within the schools,” said Roy. 

The district already has at least one COVID case connected to another at a school. The district says quarantine measures have been taken, but classes will continue.

So what would warrant a closure? Roy compares it to a snow day.

“There are a dozen variables we look at in making a decision: is three inches going to close us or is that just a nuisance?”

Roy says there’s no official threshold for closing a school – and the state makes it his call. He says he’s working with the Bethlehem Health Bureau on those decisions.

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