NPPS closes buildings, transitions to remote learning

NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (KNOP) - At Friday's press conference in North Platte, Superintendent Ron Hanson says based on federal and state policy and guidelines, North Platte Public School will no longer have traditional classes for the remainder of the school year. He says they want to prevent the spread of the virus.

North Platte's Public Schools are closing their school buildings for the rest of the year after two more COVID-19 cases are identified in Lincoln County. Supt. Ron Hanson asks for patients and flexibility as they move towards remote learning. (SOURCE: Holly Barraclough/KNOP-TV)

Hanson says this is an opportunity to approach learning in a different way. He asks that families and students be patient and flexible.

Hanson says they will take next week to make plans for remote learning for all students. Remote learning starts March 30th. They want all seniors to finish course work by May 13th. Remote learning for all students ends May 15th. Teachers will be finished by May 20th

Hanson they will weekly reevaluate the status of this decision. Hanson says he knows prom and graduation are important to the students. He says a decision will be made later about whether or not if these events will occur.

Shannon Vanderheiden with the West Central District Health Department says a man in his 20s and a woman in her 40s are the two latest cases of COVID-19 cases in Lincoln County.

Health officials say these are NOT considered community spread cases because they know how these people became ill, they can identify the source of the virus. Vanderheiden says they know who their direct contacts are. She feels comfortable they don't need to put a list out of where they have been.

The woman in her 40s traveled in Colorado became ill. She is currently self-isolating at home.

The man in his 20s was in close contact with an person who previously tested positive for COVID-19.

West Central District Health Department is investigating who may be in close contact with these two cases.

“Our focus right now is to complete the contact investigations and to protect the health of the community,” Vanderheiden says, "We want to continue to remind everyone that the best way to stop the spread of this virus is to stay at home if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 infection.

Public health officials would like to remind everyone that if you have a fever of over 100.4 or symptoms of respiratory illness, please self-isolate and contact your healthcare provider or your local health department.