AHS Suffers Staff Shortages During Omicron Wave – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

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During the week of Jan. 10, Ashland High School was short of up to 23 staff members, according to Ashland Public Schools Superintendent Samuel Bogdanove.

“Some of these staff have tested positive for COVID, some have been exposed and quarantined, and some had COVID-like symptoms but have not been confirmed,” Bogdanove said in a message to families dated January 14. “Two members of staff have been able to return, and the number of absent employees appears to be holding steady over the past two days.

All district schools other than AHS are open for in-person instruction, with some staff absent at each location for confirmed or suspected COVID-related reasons. High school teacher aides and staff have been temporarily reassigned to positions in elementary schools to provide supervision and support, Bogdanove said. Given a five-day quarantine period, he estimated AHS would reopen for in-person instruction on Jan. 31.

“COVID has impacted staff in other key departments, including catering and transport,” he said. “Thanks to the creativity and dedication of the staff, we remain operational in these areas.”

Based on feedback from students and families regarding the suspension of extracurricular activities and athletics, he said, activities are expected to resume on a limited basis with new precautions.

Parents and guardians have been urged to ensure students are up to date on vaccinations and boosters, to observe physical distancing, to minimize exposure by limiting social gatherings outside the home, to wear masks, disinfect and register students for weekly asymptomatic testing.

More information is available at ashland.k12.or.us/page/coronavirus-covid-19-response.

Under limited after-school and athletic reopening guidelines during the omicron push, spectators will not be permitted at indoor events until the end of the month, all participating staff and students must wear face coverings at all times (except during competition, for students), locker room access is limited, night travel to competitions or shows is prohibited, and concession stands will not open.

Coaches must sign an agreement that attendees will adhere to precautions, as directed, before families receive notice that an activity has been approved. Further spikes in cases may put high-risk activities on hold again.

“Extracurricular activities and participation in athletics may increase the risk of transmission of Omicron,” the message reads. “Parents and guardians should consider their child’s risk, potential impact of illness, and potential loss of instruction when deciding whether to participate in an after-school or athletic program.”

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