ALLENDALE, MI – The Ottawa Area Center, a public school serving students with cognitive impairments, is closed to in-person instruction for one week after a staff member tested positive for the coronavirus.
About 50 students and staff have been placed in quarantine following the positive test result, according to a news release issued by the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) on Wednesday, Oct. 7.
The suspension of in-person instruction is effective Thursday, Oct. 7 through Friday, Oct. 16, district officials said. The school will use remote learning during the facility’s closure.
The school, located at 10160 96th Ave., serves around 200 students ranging from ages 3 to 26 with moderate to severe cognitive impairments, according to the OAISD website.
The facility will remain vacant until Oct. 9 out of an abundance of caution, according to a letter sent to Ottawa Area Center parents. The facility will then undergo deep cleaning in preparation for the building’s reopening.
In-person instruction will resume Monday, Oct. 19, according to the parent letter.
“I cannot emphasize enough how important it is to us that we provide a safe and healthy environment for our students and staff,” Ottawa Area Center Director JoAnne Thorsen and Assistant Director Julia Plaggemeyer wrote in the letter to parents.
“We will continue to work closely with our local health officials to maintain that high standard.”
The Ottawa County Department of Public Health said there is no evidence the staff member who tested positive was exposed to COVID-19 on school property, according to the letter.
There have been 3,602 confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Ottawa County since March 15, of which 2,591 cases have since recovered, according to the county’s COVID-19 data dashboard. The county has confirmed 64 deaths linked to the coronavirus.
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