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Negaunee schools to begin distance learning this week: Free testing sites announced by state; Marquette County courts move to virtual proceedings

MARQUETTE — Negaunee Public Schools has decided to suspend face-to-face learning at Negaunee Middle School and High School beginning this week.

The decision was made after several conversations with district administrators, the Marquette County Health Department and members of the NPS Board of Education. There have been a “number of confirmed cases at both the middle school and high school,” a district letter issued to parents on Sunday night said.

The reporting dashboard at negaunee.k12.mi.us indicated there are nine cumulative cases among NPS staff and students as of Monday. This number includes four confirmed staff cases, four confirmed student cases and one probable student case. There are five active cases.

Middle and high school students will resume face-to-face learning on Nov. 2. During the distance learning period, all extracurricular activities, including athletics, will be suspended as well.

Lakeview Elementary School, however, will continue with face-to-face learning.

Middle and high school students were asked to pick up their Chromebooks and textbooks from their school buildings on Monday.

Regarding school meals, high schoolers may pick up breakfast and lunch from the main entrance of the high school from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. beginning today. Meals for multiple days may be picked up all at once. Middle schoolers may pick up breakfast and lunch from the gym lobby from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., with multiple meals also available at once.

Meals are free for all students. For more information, contact Calvin Attwell, director of food services, at calvin.attwell@negauneeschools.org or 906-475-7803 ext. 110.

Alger, Mackinac cases rise

The Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft District Health Department reported that as of Monday, its four counties have a total of 330 COVID-19 cases, with 269 and 61 probable. There are 105 recovered cases included in these numbers, which accounts for 32% of the total. The biggest increases in the last few weeks have been in Alger and Mackinac counties.The number of cases associated with the Oct. 2 event at the American Legion in Munising has risen to 34, including the death of an Alger County resident on Saturday. Not all cases reported were people who attended the event. Some cases had contact with people who were in attendance and contracted the virus, officials said.

Mackinac Island has seen the number of cases in the last two weeks increase to 41, but unlike Alger County, these cases are not connected with any event or location, officials said.

Gwinn schools adjusting

Gwinn Area Community Schools Superintendent Sandy Petrovich announced in a message to staff that as GACS is settling into routines for online and in-person learners, district officials recognized a need for teachers to have additional professional development time regarding the use of technology.

“We are simply taking four of our regular full days and changing them to half days to provide extra professional development time for teachers,” Petrovich said in an email. “The online learning and Flipped Fridays in our learning plan calls for good technology skills. So we are taking advantage of four extra half days to keep learning new tech skills to continue to provide the best education possible for our students.”

The early dismissal days are: Oct. 29, Jan. 28, Feb. 25 and April 29.

All meals will be served as usual.

Builders Show canceled

The 2021 U.P. Builders Show will not be held in March due to the “uncertain nature of holding large events,” it was announced on Facebook.

The Marquette Builders Exchange and the Home Builders Association of the Upper Peninsula have partnered since the 1970s to hold the show, according to a Facebook post.

“After several conversations and board meetings, it was unanimously decided by both organizations to have the partnered U.P. Builders Show officially come to an end by name only,” the post read.

However, the HBAUP will move forward with its own home show in the spring, with April 30 to May 2 being the tentative dates. The MBE will offer other benefits to members in line with the commercial side of the construction industry.

Free testing sites

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is launching new partnerships with Walgreens and the Michigan Primary Care Association to offer 77 new free COVID-19 test sites statewide, bringing the total number of state-supported, free test sites to nearly 100.

The new partnership with Walgreens has expanded its COVID-19 testing operations to 36 locations throughout Michigan, including the Walgreens at 1115 W. Washington St., Marquette. Testing at Walgreens’ sites is available by appointment only and is provided through existing pharmacy drive-thru lanes.

When patients arrive, pharmacy staff walk them through a self-administered COVID-19 test. To make an appointment, visit Walgreens.com/COVID19Testing.

Courthouse operations restricted

Marquette County courts announced all court proceedings will be conducted virtually using Zoom effective immediately. Individuals will not be permitted into the courtrooms. These restrictions are being implemented after consultation with the Marquette County Health Department to reduce exposure risk for COVID-19.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net

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