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Staff recognized for contact tracing

MCSD leaders acknowledge employees during meeting

LEWISTOWN — School leaders recognized school nurses and staff for their efforts in contact tracing related to COVID-19.

Mifflin County School District Chief Operations Officer Vance Varner announced to the district’s board of directors during its Committee-of-the-Whole meeting, held via Zoom call Thursday, that staff have been working nearly round-the-clock to perform contact tracing on staff and students.

Varner said the district has had 143 COVID cases since September, which includes 50 cases this week which required students to quarantine.

“That’s the third time since September that we’ve had to quarantine 50 individuals at one time,” Varner said.

Varner also recognized representatives from Merf radio, Big Lewie and Mifflin County’s local representative for the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Of the 143 cases, Varner said 81 were students, and 62 were, seven of which are bus or van drivers.

Superintendent James Estep said there are currently four school buses that are unable to be utilized because drivers are sick and there are not enough substitute drivers.

“We will continue to keep things going for as long as we can…we might have to look at another alternative (for educating students),” Estep said.

Estep also discussed a $1.5 million grant that Mifflin County recently secured for laptops that would be distributed to low income students

Once the laptops arrive, Estep said, they would be distributed by the Association for Mifflin County Educators.

In other news, board member Terry Styers recognized guidance counselor at Lewistown Elementary school, Kimberly Kauffmn, for her efforts in Accuweather’s Operation Warm program, which resulted in students receiving free coats.

The board also reviewed its agenda for the regular meeting, which will be discussed during its next meeting, set for 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

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