Mat-Su Borough School District

Mat-Su Borough School District

Mat-Su Borough School District officials announced Thursday evening that all schools will be moved into the yellow medium risk zone Nov. 4. The announcement comes as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise in the Mat-Su Borough.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the district will be changing all School Operational Zones to ‘Yellow/Medium Risk’ to increase mitigation strategies and counteract the trend of increasing positivity rates in the Mat-Su Borough,” district officials said in an update Thursday.

Medium risk is defined as low to moderate level of community transmission, according to the district. The district defines each school as its own community. The district is referring parents to its website for specific mitigation plans for each school.

As of Friday night, there were 28 schools in the yellow medium risk zone. The district administration building is also listed as medium risk. Each building at the medium risk level has had at least one positive case reported during the past 14 days. There have been 102 total cases reported within Valley schools during the past 14 days. Six schools — Colony High, Colony Middle, Mat-Su Career and Tech High, Mat-Su Central,Teeland Middle and Wasilla High — were all closed on Friday.

Ten new cases were reported in the district on Friday. The list includes Swanson Elementary, Palmer Junior Middle, Pioneer Peak Elementary, Goosebay Elementary and Valley Pathways. There were also three new cases reported at Teeland Middle and two at Birtchtree Charter.

District schools are closed Monday and Tuesday for parent-teacher conferences. As of Friday night, there were no additional school closures listed.

The district also announced that it will extend its suspension of intradistrict activities and athletic events through at least Nov, 13. High school athletics and activities have been on hold since Oct. 13. The district originally suspended intradistrict competition through Oct 30.

That impacted volleyball, and swimming and diving. A prep football senior all-star game scheduled for Oct. 16 was also canceled. District schools had tentatively planned an end-of-the-year volleyball tournament for Nov. 6-7. Junior varsity and C team programs would have played on Nov. 6 and the varsity teams would have followed on Nov. 7.

There was also a swimming and diving meet tentatively scheduled the following weekend.

An additional 63 new COVID-19 cases were reported in the borough on Friday. It’s the fifth time in less than a week that the state has reported at least 63 new cases in the borough on a single day. The borough remains at the high alert level with one of the highest cases rates in the state, 40.6 during the past 14 days. There have been 605 COVID-19 cases reported in the borough in the last two weeks. That’s more than 40 percent of the borough’s cumulative total of 1,407 cases.

The borough’s seven-day positivity rate is up to 18.15 percent.

Contact the Frontiersman at news@frontiersman.com.

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