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58 students out but sports back - with limits

Staff writer

Marion County schools have 68 students and faculty in quarantine, and three more in isolation, but sports soldier on, including Marion boys basketball, which returned after a weeklong hiatus.

Marion basketball hadn’t played since its Dec. 8 game after several players were quarantined but returned to action just in time for Tuesday’s matchup against rival Hillsboro.

The players had to quarantine after being in close proximity to bus driver, and noted Marion super fan, Jerry Kline. Kline tested positive for COVID-19 after Marion’s Dec. 4 game at Goessel.

Marion boys and girls teams had players quarantined Dec. 8 but were able to field teams that day. Games Friday and Saturday were canceled.

County school districts have been allowing limited fans at games for more than a week, but how many are permitted depends on the school, team, and even location.

Friday’s Marion County Duals wrestling tournament, jointly hosted by Marion and Hillsboro, will allow two parents per Hillsboro or Marion participant, and one fan per participant of a visiting team.

“It gets to be a numbers thing, and that gets to the point where we’re probably not able to keep that six feet again,” Hillsboro superintendent Max Heinrichs said Monday. “Think about 112 wrestlers. The difference being, you have eight teams and they’re moving around, then you have these parents who are there.”

If a team has multiple athletes from the same family, only two parents are allowed to attend, and the pass cannot be given to others like grandparents, according to state guidelines. Marion is allowing two parents per participant to attend basketball games, as do Peabody-Burns and Goessel.

Hillsboro also permits two parents per participant at high school games, but only one parent per participant for games at its middle school gym because it is smaller.

County districts had a combined 56 students in quarantine as of most recent reports, with 12 teachers and faculty in quarantine, two students in isolation, and one faculty member in isolation.

Marion school district had the highest number in quarantine, with 40 students and nine teachers Monday, Marion superintendent Aaron Homburg said.

That accounted for 72% of the students and school faculty quarantined around the county, but it still was fewer than the average number of county students who missed school each day, according 2019 data from the state department of education.

Marion County had 1,730 students in 2018-2019. An average of 88 missed school each day, according to state data.

Peabody-Burns had three students and one faculty member in quarantine Monday, while Goessel had one teacher in quarantine and two students in isolation.

Hillsboro had 13 students and one teacher in quarantine Tuesday, with one faculty member in isolation.

“We’re in a better place than we were in November up to this point,” Heinrichs said. “We knew we would be if we could just get a little distance.”

Hillsboro will continue with its hybrid school model through January and revisit its plans at next month’s meeting.

Centre, which has all students learning remotely until Christmas break, will return to in-person classes Jan. 4. Since students and teachers are working remotely, Centre superintendent Susan Beeson does not have totals for how many people are in quarantine.

One teacher contracted COVID-19, but her isolation period ended Monday.

Centre sports practices start Jan. 8, with middle school teams playing games Jan. 11 and 14, and high school games Jan. 15.

Last modified Dec. 16, 2020

 

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