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Houghton Elementary class quarantining at home after teacher probable for COVID

HOUGHTON — A Houghton Elementary School class is quarantining after a teacher was notified of being a probable positive for COVID-19, the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department said Wednesday.

“A lot of that is an abundance of caution because in lower grades, you can’t maintain that 6-foot distance very well,” said Kate Beer, health officer for the WUPHD. “It’s easier with the teenagers.”

The teacher was in close contact with someone who had tested positive, Beer said. Beer was unsure if the teacher had been symptomatic.

Houghton-Portage Township Schools Superintendent Doreen Kramer said parents of students in the class had been notified to keep their children out of school until the teacher’s results come back.

“We’ve contacted all the parents we needed to contact, and we appreciated all the support we’ve received when we made the phone calls,” she said.

Since it could be as little as 24 hours, the school has not enacted remote learning for the class, Kramer said. Kramer was also not aware of any of the students being tested for COVID.

In an interview Tuesday before the Houghton and Jeffers announcements, Beer said the health department was aggressively monitoring COVID numbers and testing capacity to do as much as possible to keep schools open.

“We’re relying on the parents to make sure they’re monitoring their children and making sure they’re not sending them to school sick, and wearing the proper masks,” she said. “We’re really trying to make this a community effort, and keep everything open.”

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