Three area school districts report positive COVID tests

Durand Area Schools, Laingsburg Community Schools and Corunna Public Schools announced positive coronavirus test results Tuesday. Laingsburg and Corunna reopened for in-person instruction Thursday and Monday, respectively. Durand will begin its 2020-21 academic year Sept. 8.

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY — Three area school districts Tuesday announced positive coronavirus test results, less than a week after area schools began offering in-person instruction.

Positive cases announced Tuesday include a student at Laingsburg High School, a student at Corunna High School and a teacher at Durand Middle School.

Laingsburg and Corunna reopened for in-person instruction Thursday and Monday, respectively. Durand Area Schools is set to begin its 2020-21 academic year Sept. 8.

Byron Area Schools, Chesaning Union Schools and Morrice Area Schools have also reopened with face-to-face and online offerings, with Morrice marking its first day of school today. Owosso Public Schools, New Lothrop Area Public Schools and Ovid-Elsie Area Schools will join Durand in reopening Sept. 8.

According to the Michigan COVID-19 dashboard website, Shiawassee County cases continue to trend upward. There are 373 confirmed cases in the county since the pandemic began — an increase of 33 from last Wednesday. Statewide, there were 779 new cases confirmed as of Tuesday and 20 new deaths.

In Laingsburg, the infected individual, who was not identified by Superintendent Matt Shastal, attended in-person instruction Thursday and Friday. The district was informed of the positive test Sunday, and the student has been following quarantine guidelines since that time, according to Shastal.

The Mid-Michigan District Health Department has identified five additional Laingsburg students who may have to quarantine for 14 days because of possible exposure while aboard district busing, Shastal added. The Mid-Michigan District Health Department is requesting additional information from affected families to determine whether or not quarantining will be necessary, he said.

“Both the (student’s) family and the school district strongly believe that the student did not contract the disease from anyone while at school and, due to our strict safety protocols, we believe there was no transmission to any student on campus,” Shastal said via phone Tuesday, acknowledging the potential exposure that may have occurred aboard district transportation.

“We will continue to require all students to wear a facial covering and practice social distancing to the extent possible while on campus or while riding district provided transportation. If we learn at any time that there is a large scale spread of COVID-19 in our school community we will scale back our in-person offerings,” he said.

In Corunna, a high school student involved with the district’s swim team tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Superintendent John Fattal. The student was informed of potential exposure to the virus Friday afternoon and was subsequently tested, receiving a positive result shortly thereafter.

The infected individual did not attend the district’s first day of in-person instruction Monday and is in quarantine, Fattal continued. He said the Shiawassee County Health Department determined no additional members of the swim team, or anyone at the school, will be required to quarantine.

Durand Area Schools Superintendent Craig McCrumb announced via email Tuesday evening that a teacher at the district’s middle school tested positive for the coronavirus.

“We became aware that a staff member wasn’t feeling well starting early Sunday morning and a test was conducted Monday,” McCrumb wrote in the email to district families. “This staff member has not been in school this week and we do not believe any students or staff were exposed.”

McCrumb said the infected individual is currently in quarantine and, in this particular case, the health department is not recommending any additional staff members be quarantined.

Durand Area Schools plans to welcome back students with in-person and online instruction Sept. 8.

Laingsburg, Corunna and Durand join Perry Public Schools as area districts to report positive COVID-19 tests.

Six Perry staff members — the bulk of them teaching staff — and one district volunteer are currently in quarantine after a member of the district’s teaching staff tested positive for the respiratory virus Aug. 17.

Substitute teachers, officials said previously, stepped in to fill the temporary teaching vacancies as the district welcomed back students for in-person and online instruction Thursday.

Quarantined staff members could return to school as soon as Tuesday, barring no further symptoms, officials said.

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