11 COVID-19 cases confirmed at TC Central High School | News
TRAVERSE CITY – Grace Critchfield got the call while she was on her way to rehearsal for the spring musical.
The Traverse City Central High School senior’s cell phone rang and a health department official was on the other end of the line. Contact with COVID-19 and mandatory quarantine mean that Critchfield will not be included in the cast of “The Theory of Relativity” until the middle of next week.
“I was just like, ‘Welp, I can’t go now,'” Critchfield said. “I was pretty frustrated. It’s my senior year and I feel like I’ve missed so much already. “
Critchfield said this was her first experience tracking down or quarantining contact. Several of her friends and classmates have gone through the process three times so far this school year, she said.
“I’m the rare one,” Critchfield said, adding that she was fairly confident about when and where it was exposed but refused to say so specifically to protect the infected person’s identity.
Traverse City Area public schools officials announced eleven positive school-related COVID-19-related cases of Central High within three days, seven on Wednesday and two more on Thursday and Friday.
Superintendent John VanWagoner said rising cases were a problem across the district. Traverse City West Senior High School recently had a rash of 14 confirmed cases over a 10-day period.
VanWagoner said the numbers for the 10,000 students at TCAPS are still relatively low, but he urged students and staff to remain vigilant and continue to practice appropriate safety protocols such as social distancing and the wearing of masks.
VanWagoner said the switch to online learning would be immediate upon such a recommendation from the health department.
“We are hopeful that people will listen,” he said.
Northwest Michigan Department of Health officials released a statement Friday that several COVID-19 outbreaks were recently reported in the school population, largely due to sporting events and gatherings outside of school.
Lisa Peacock, HDNM health officer, said collaboration from students, parents, coaches and school staff is needed to “ensure that anyone who has COVID-19 can be tested and isolated immediately – if positive – as well as close contacts identified and identified can be quarantined. “
“This entire process is essential to protecting those who are not vaccinated in our communities,” Peacock said.