By Dewey Terrill
COVID-19 related absences have surged in recent days in Geary USD 475, but are now on the decline. Superintendent of Schools Dr. Reginald Eggleston said the District felt the effects of the pandemic tremendously. "We have never had to shut our buildings down but last week due to the large of staff numbers that were impacted we needed to close school on Friday. " Eggleston added before that Spring Valley Elementary School experienced a surge in staff members with COVID as well and was closed last Thursday and Friday.
Eggleston said the number of students absent due to COVID has ranged anywhere from over 800 to nearly 1,200. "What we've seen at each number or each day that we've monitored half or more of the students were out due to COVID-19."
The situation is improving, said Eggleston. "We are seeing the numbers, but based on what we are told by KDHE it will be a little later in the week, probably early next week before we really start seeing a downturn in numbers. So we're really optimistic as we continue through this spike that the numbers are going to decline." Improvements have also occurred with staff recovering from illnesses.
Eggleston said he thought people were taking it seriously and monitoring their behavior outside of work and school because what happens outside of those areas has an impact during the week when they are trying to conduct school. He confirmed school buildings will remain open.