Lewistown schools will likely be distance-learning for two weeks due to COVID

Posted at 2:23 PM, Oct 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-27 17:04:29-04

Students at Fergus High School and Lewistown Junior High School will likely be distance-learning for the next two weeks because of COVID-19 cases in the schools.

The schools were closed Monday after the district learned over the weekend that a student and staff member at each school tested positive.

As of Tuesday, more than a dozen staff members and more than 150 students at the schools were in quarantine because they were deemed to be close contacts of the people who tested positive.

The decision was made to move to distance learning the rest of the week and Superintendent Thom Peck said Tuesday that will likely be the case next week as well.

The district is working on what Peck calls a possible A-B plan for the two schools.

"Half the kids come on an 'A' day, half the kids come on a 'B' day. We're looking at that and seeing if we can actually do that as well as maintain all of our transportation and everything,” Peck explained.

Once the plan is ready, he said, there will likely be listening sessions to get feedback from the community.

There were 855 new cases and two new deaths added to the total on the Montana COVID-19 tracking site on Tuesday morning. The data below is from the official Montana website on October 27:

  • TOTAL CASES & RECOVERIES: There have been 29,346 cumulative cases, with 18,981 people now listed as recovered.
  • HOSPITALIZATIONS: There are 350 current hospitalizations, and a cumulative total of 1,245 hospitalizations.
  • DEATHS: The cumulative number of deaths in Montana is now 305.
  • ACTIVE CASES: There are currently 10,060 active COVID-19 cases in Montana.
  • TESTING: There were 4,997 completed tests, for a new cumulative state-wide total of 481,322.

Numbers reported by the state each day occasionally differ from those reported by county public health departments due to periodic lag times in reporting data to the state. We encourage people to check the official website and/or Facebook page of their respective county health department for any information that is not yet included in the state's daily updates.

It's important to note that not every person who tests positive actually becomes ill or exhibits symptoms. Many do not; of those who do become sick, some experience mild symptoms and do not require hospitalization. Others, however, do require hospitalization, as noted in the daily update on the number of people hospitalized. However, every person who does test positive for COVID-19 has the potential to spread the virus to other people, including family members and friends, which is why public health officials continue to encourage everyone to wear a mask and maintain at least the recommended six feet of "social distance" when in public.