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Hundreds of students quarantined after returning to all in-person learning

Megan Henry, The Columbus Dispatch |

Upper Arlington City Schools had 446 student and staff members in quarantine on March 11, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.

“After several weeks of seeing a reduction of cases in our schools, we’re starting to see more cases,” Upper Arlington Superintendent Paul Imhoff said in a family update Friday. “And, of course, in the all-in model, that is going to impact more students due to quarantine guidance. The reality is that the pandemic isn’t over yet.”

The district is on spring break this week.

Upper Arlington and Westerville were the first two Franklin County suburban districts to go back to all-in person learning, but several others either returned this week or will be back before the end of the month. Upper Arlington returned to all in-person learning on March 1 and reported 20 COVID-19 cases on March 11. Since the start of the school year, the district has had 153 student and 51 staff COVID-19 cases as of March 11, according to the Ohio Department of Health. 

Westerville City Schools reported 289 student and seven staff quarantines from March 9 through Sunday, district spokesman Greg Viebranz said in an email to The Dispatch. “While the thoroughness of our contact tracing impacts those quarantine figures, our confirmed case rate after this first week is actually lower than other weeks when we were operating under a blended learning model,” Viebranz said in his email. Westerville returned to all-in learning on March 8 and there were 12 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among students from March 9 through Sunday. The school district has had 451 student and 189 staff COVID-19 cases, according to the state health department.

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