Tyrone College sees rise in COVID-19 cases | News, Sports, Jobs


TYRONE — Tyrone Area Middle School’s COVID-19 case count is rising, according to Principal Shane Cowher.

At the council’s business session on Tuesday, Cowher said the number of cases had increased in recent weeks since students returned from vacation.

According to Superintendent Leslie Estep, as of last week there were 14 cases at the college, nine of which were in the building while infectious. Additionally, Estep said that as of last week, there were 15 cases in elementary school and two in high school.

Estep also reported that 47 close contacts were identified at the college last week.

Cowher said he attributes this increase to the omicron variant, although he hopes the numbers will go down.

“I’m hopeful because after experiencing a surge, the numbers drop drastically,” Cowher said after the meeting. “I’m hopeful that we will see a drop in cases.”

Estep said the numbers were already starting to move in the right direction since he reported to parents last week on the number of cases.

“At this stage of the week, our numbers are already significantly lower than last week,” Estep said in an email. “Obviously that can change quickly, but it’s a good sign that cases are stabilizing a bit. We’ve found our school’s spread to be minimal and we’ll continue to monitor our numbers.”

During the meeting, board member Gunter Volders asked Cowher about upcoming mitigation efforts.

“Teachers are aware of attenuation,” said Cowher. “I think we have what we need at our fingertips.”

The district is following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, which include positive cases returning masked for five days if symptoms are gone or resolve.

Cowher added that the parents have supported and cooperated with the district, keeping “Open lines of communication to deal with this.”

Parents, he said, have kept students home well when sick and have adhered to quarantine measures.

After the meeting, Cowher said the school, like the rest of the district, will continue to follow CDC guidelines.

Estep also said the cleaning protocols, enhanced ventilation and social distancing measures will remain in effect.

Mirror Staff Writer Andrew Mollenauer is at 814-946-7428.

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