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As COVID-19 case confirmations explode, Rocky Boy schools extend remote learning

State confirms 501 new cases of COVID-19, 2,720 since Sept. 25


Last updated 10/3/2020 at 11:55am

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge in this region and throughout Montana, the superintendent of Rocky Boy Public Schools announced the district has extended its distanced learning-only to Oct. 30.

Superintendent Voyd St. Pierre said the district's board met in a virtual meeting Friday and unanimously voted to extend remote learning to Friday, Oct. 30.

Rocky Boy has been using distanced learning since it opened, but planned to switch over to a blended model using partial classroom learning and partial distanced learning this week.

The announcement comes as new COVID-19 cases continue to surge in Montana and in this region of the state. The state COVID-29 tracking map this morning reported 501 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state, the highest daily total so far, with 2,720 new cases confirmed since Friday, Sept, 25.

That gives a total of 4,569 active cases in the state, 189 active hospitalizations and 186 deaths.

June 1, as the state moved into Phase 2 of its reopening plan, four new cases in the state were confirmed, bringing the state total to 519 cases with 17 deaths and two active hospitalizations.

Both Harlem and Box Elder schools, which had been using blended plans, shut their school buildings this week after cases in people associated with the districts were confirmed.

Friday evening, Blaine County reported 16 new confirmed cases, with 51 active cases and 71 total cases in the county with one hospitalization. The county has seen 36 new confirmed cases since Sept 1.

Hill County reported 14 new confirmed cases Friday evening, with 66 active cases, one hospitalization, three deaths and a total of 212 cases confirmed in the county since the pandemic started -- 211 confirmed from July 4 on and 67 in the last week.

The state COVID-19 response tracking map today reported no new cases in Chouteau County, but Friday four new cases were reported there. The county had 14 active cases and 21 recoveries for a total of 36 cases.

The map reported this morning no new cases in Liberty County, with five active cases and 15 recoveries for a total of 20 cases.

Rocky Boy Schools' announcement also comes as the Hill County Health Department rejected this week proposals to increase in-class learning in Havre Public Schools, which is using a blended or hybrid plan, to four or five days a week and another case of COVID-19 in a person associated with the Havre school district was confirmed.

St. Pierre said in the release about Rocky Boy Schools that the decision applies to Early Head Start, Head Start pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in the district.

Students having academic difficulties and asking for help from teachers can schedule appointments to come into the schools for individual help, he said.

All safety protocols will be in effect, and people can call if they have questions, St. Pierre said.


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