‘School is on next week’: LPS talks contingency plans for learning amid coronavirus concerns

There are 5 cases of the virus in the state so far, the latest is a student from Crofton, NE who attended two girls state basketball games in Lincoln last week, one at Northeast, one at Northstar.

The student was diagnosed with COVID–19 and is in biocontainment at UNMC in Omaha.

“Our health department has made contact with the student’s Lincoln relatives. They are now in self quarantine until march 20th,” said Pat Lopez of the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Others who attended the games are advised to watch for signs and symptoms and to self quarantine at best.

There are still no known or confirmed cases of coronavirus in Lancaster county, and because of that, LPS wants everyone to know for now, school will resume on Monday.

“As I stand here today, we’re intending to have school when our students come back from spring break, however, we’ve been developing contingency plans in the event that we don’t,” said Steve Joel, Superintendent of Lincoln Public Schools.

“This is in my opinion a pan epidemic and it needs to be treated as such, and I’m speaking personally now, Dr. Joel, thank you for watching this carefully and please show the same level of courage to protect our kids,” said Dr. Michael Rapp of CHI Health St. Elizabeth.

Workers are busy disinfecting schools, and especially where the Crofton student may have visited.

“With regard to the question about disinfection, we’ve ramped up our efforts to disinfect any of the areas that have been designated as common, gathering areas, and that would include where the tournaments were played last week,” said Joel.

If schools were to close however, “We have curriculum in place that can be delivered via technology,” said Joel.

For those students who do not have access to internet at home, LPS will be making copies of materials and lesson plans that the students can still receive, should the schools close in the next coming weeks.

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