Significant surge in cases led the decision for Bethlehem schools to go remote

Written by on December 22, 2020

 Significant surge in cases led the decision for Bethlehem schools to go remote

By Genesis Ortega

December 22, 2020

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Today is the final day of classes in 2020 for many Lehigh Valley schools as districts go on holiday break.

Listen to the story.

Until recently, Bethlehem Area schools had been teaching students with a blend of in-person and online classes until.  But school officials decided to go fully remote, to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

In the first 11 days of December, the Bethlehem school district recorded 237 cases of students who tested positive for coronavirus – or are in quarantine after coming into close contact with someone who has. 

Dr. Joseph Roy, the Bethlehem school district superintendent, says previously, there were no more than 26 confirmed or presumed cases reported each month.

Schools are not considered a significant contributor to the surge in COVID-19. Dr. Roy says the decision to take classes fully remote is to help contact-tracing efforts.

“Just to make sure that we’re staying on top of it. Because the way to avoid spread in school is to identify any potential close contacts quickly and have them not be in school.”

Since going fully remote last week, the daily number of Bethlehem students reported to be infected or in quarantine has dropped by more than 50%. 

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