Great Falls High going remote due to COVID-19 cases

Updated 10 a.m. Sept. 14 

Great Falls Public Schools has identified 35 positive COVID-19 cases at Great Falls High School, including students and staff.

As of noon on Sept. 13, the district has identified more than 40 classrooms that will need to be disinfected and custodians have begun the process that will continue into the evening, according to a GFPS release.

“Due to a high percentage of students and staff being either quarantined or isolated, we will be moving all Great Falls High School students and staff to remote learning for the remainder of the week,” beginning 5 p.m. Sept. 13 through Sept. 20, according a GFPS release.

Cascade County COVID numbers still high

“This will allow for the quarantine or isolation times of staff and students to lapse and for our sanitation teams to do the necessary deep cleaning and air exchange of the entire school. Parents and staff have been, or are being notified of the details. Student learning will continue throughout the week via packets and remote learning,” according to the release.

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“There have been pockets of concentration regarding the confirmed cases. However, people being quarantined or isolated have affected all departments in the high school,” according to GFPS.

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School Foods will be providing meal distribution for the remainder of the week at Paris Gibson Education Center. This will be the only distribution site and it will be a “grab and go” situation. Meals will need to be picked up Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to noon at Paris Gibson Education Center’s east entrance off 25th Street South.

If parents or families have questions, contact the school until 3 p.m. Sept. 13 or call the district offices at 406-268-6008.

Check the website and Great Falls Public Schools Facebook page for more information and updates.

If students need electronic devices they will be available for check out at GFHS, contact the high school at 268-6250.

Student athletic activities will continue this week as scheduled but there will be health and safety protocols which include a mask requirement when students and coaches are in close proximity. Spectators are asked to wear masks at all Great Falls High athletic events at this time.

Parents, staff and students are reminded to monitor their health and wellbeing each day. If you are feeling sick and/or exhibiting any flu-like symptoms, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider.

According to GFPS, the Youth Resource Center will open 11 a.m to 3 p.m. Sept. 14-17 to facilitate remote learning for GFHS students.

“We will be social distancing and handing out masks to everyone who enter the building. We have free access to WiFi and some laptops but it would be advisable for the students to bring their own. Please call 406-952-0018 for more information,” according to GFPS.

On Sept. 14, Cascade County added 161 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the cumulative total to 11,862 with 983 active cases, according to the state dashboard.

According to the Sept. 13 update from the state, Benefis Health System has 39 COVID and 194 non-COVID patients hospitalized, leaving 8 beds available. There were 7 COVID and 13 non-COVID patients in the ICU, leaving one bed available. Seven COVID and 11 non-COVID patients were on ventilators, leaving 8 available.

At Great Falls Clinic, there were six COVID and 13 non-COVID patients hospitalized, leaving 17 beds available.

As of Sept. 13, there had been 65,760 total doses of the vaccine administered in Cascade County and 32,518 people, or 47 percent of the eligible population were fully immunized, according to the state.