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COVID Update - November 4, 2020

Video Message


Greenback Family,


We continue to see an increase in the number of active COVID-19 cases in Pratt County.  At this time, our active student/staff cases have increased to the higher end of our Amber zone.  We also track active cases in the regional block of counties, student absences, and quarantines.  At this time, we are in the Red zone for the regional county block, Pratt County itself, and our quarantines.  Our student absences are in the Green + zone, indicating that overall illness levels are low.  We update these numbers and publish them under the link “Pandemic Zones Gating Criteria,” which can be found under the COVID-19 Info tab on our website.


As always, our goal is to keep our community and students safe while continuing to put our students in a position to keep growing.  Our gating criteria serve as guidance, but the decision to move into an Orange or Red zone would be done in consultation with the Pratt County Health Department.  As I write this, the Pratt County Health Department believes our students are still safer at school from acquiring COVID because students consistently mask during the school day.  We also made environmental upgrades to each building’s HVAC system in September to reduce potential pathogens in the circulating indoor air.  At this time, all of the transmission appears to have occurred at non-school activities and gatherings.  We continue to assess the transmission along with the Pratt County Health Department.


The other potential issue that could force a move to our Orange zone would be staffing our schools.  At this time—yes, it could change quickly—we are able to operate effectively.   We have committed teachers and support staff who pitch in to cover any short-term gaps. 


Because Liberty Middle School had an exposure on the boys basketball team, we are going to suspend competition until November 16th and suspend practices through November 10th, returning to practice on November 11th.  Those parents will receive more specific information from the athletic department and coaches.


I do believe masking makes a difference with disease transmission rates.  The attached link, which will also be shared on the website and our Facebook page, (https://zdoggmd.com/face-masks/) gives a nice overview on the benefits.  When we make small personal sacrifices, we make Pratt stronger—a community where we look out for each other.


We thank the community for its support of its schools during an anxious moment in our history.



Tony Helfrich


Pratt Schools USD 382