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Bayfield Middle School moves to remote learning after students, staff test positive for COVID-19

Football, volleyball games canceled after 11 students, 2 staff members test positive
Bayfield Middle School will move to remote learning after reporting more than a dozen COVID-19 cases, according to an email sent by the school district. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Bayfield Middle School will be closed until Sept. 24 as a result of positive COVID-19 cases detected in 11 students and two staff members.

Parent John Feely said he received a text message and email telling parents the middle school is closing because of the positive cases.

“There were a series of texts about the volleyball game being canceled, the football game being canceled, and then we got a text saying, ‘Read your email,’” Feely said.

Feely forwarded the email he received from the middle school to The Durango Herald. The email, signed by Principal Brandon Thurston, District Nurse Teresa Foutz and Superintendent Kevin Aten, says the school district learned late Wednesday that two Bayfield Middle School volleyball players tested positive for COVID-19.

“As a precautionary measure and just as we did last spring with sports teams, we tested all volleyball players this morning,” the email says. “We also tested our cheer team, as we have two volleyball players who also are cheerleaders.”

The email says, “Many of the students who tested positive were asymptomatic and the others had only mild cold symptoms.” The message also advises parents to monitor their children for symptoms and included a reminder that a child showing symptoms should stay at home and not go to school.

Symptoms of COVID-19 can include a runny nose, sore throat, cough, diarrhea, the sudden loss of taste or smell and shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.

Efforts to reach Aten for comment were not immediately successful.

The district started its school year by not requiring masks to be worn on school buses. The school board quickly reversed its decision after learning federal law requires masks to be worn on school buses.

“I’m just a furious parent that they’re not requiring masks or anything like that,” Feely said.

cburney@durangoherald.com

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