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Wingate Elementary to close

Student tests positive for COVID-19

WINGATE — One local school is closing due to COVID-19.

On Tuesday, Bald Eagle Area superintendent Scott Graham informed families that Wingate Elementary is closing its doors for the next two weeks following two positive tests for COVID-19 in the school.

Graham said one student tested positive on Tuesday and there is another “potential” student case. Earlier this week, BEA reported that an adult working at Wingate Elementary tested positive. The positive test was the first case in the district community.

Wingate Elementary will be closed beginning today through Sept. 30, with the current plan to return to in-person instruction on Thursday, Oct. 1. Graham said the decision was made after discussion with Wingate Elementary principal James Orichosky and school board president Tina Greene.

Graham’s complete statement to the Bald Eagle Area community was posted on the district’s Facebook page. It read:

“Today we had a student test positive for COVID-19 at Wingate. There is also another potential case. After discussing this situation with Mr. Orichosky and our Board President Tina Greene, I have decided to close Wingate Elementary for students beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16 through Wednesday, September 30. At this time, school would reopen for in-person instruction on Thursday, October 1.

Students will be sent home with computers and materials. Teachers will prepare work for students to complete tomorrow, Wednesday, September 16. Virtual instruction will begin on Thursday, September 17. Tomorrow, we will spend the day deep cleaning, especially the classrooms so faculty and staff will be able to teach virtually from their classrooms beginning Thursday.

All other schools in the district will remain open for in-person instruction due to no reported cases of COVID-19.

This is a difficult but necessary decision to make. Mr. Orichosky will be contacting you (Tuesday), as well, with additional information. Thank you for your support and understanding as we deal with this pandemic.”

Bald Eagle Area is the second district in Centre County to be impacted by skyrocketing cases in Centre County. On Monday night, the the State College Area School District reported that three students had tested positive for COVID-19. Students in the State College Area School District are in their second consecutive week of remote learning.

The other Centre County school districts — Bellefonte Area, Penns Valley and Philipsburg-Osceola — have not reported any cases of COVID-19. No school in Clinton County has reported a positive case of COVID-19.

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