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Online teaching to continue, officials say

Yukon students will remain in the continuous learning plan through at least Nov. 30, school officials said Monday.
Yukon schools returned to its continuous learning plan on Monday after Canadian County entered the “red” category on the state health department’s COVID map.
The county entered that category after it was determined that more than 50 people per 100,000 had been diagnosed as positive with COVID-19.
Superintendent Dr. Jason Simeroth said Monday that students will continue to learn remotely for the remainder of this week.
Next week, the students already were expected to be out of school for the Thanksgiving holiday break.
He said the district’s staff would monitor the situation as well as the health department’s numbers over the next several days.
A determination on how long the continuous learning plan will remain in place is being done on a week-by-week basis.
“The next round of numbers will dictate how long it will last,” Simeroth said.
The district nearly entered the continuous learning plan earlier this month after the numbers put the county above 60 persons per 100,000.
However, those numbers included inmates at both the Canadian County jail as well as the federal correction center.
Once those positive cases were removed from consideration, it allowed Yukon and other districts to continue in-person learning.
Yukon, Mustang and El Reno all announced last week that they planned to go to their remote learning plans.
The state health department’s COVID map, which was released Friday, shows Canadian County in orange. However, the state education department’s map shows the county in red.
Simeroth said the district is using the education department’s standards because they are more stringent.
“I’m happy that the state and school were able to stay in as long as we were, considering the casual approach,” he said.
Simeroth said the situation had to get really bad before additional steps were taken by the state.
The decision to cancel in-person classes also means that all extracurricular activities have been put on hold.
Simeroth said with all fall sports now complete, that will provide a little time for the athletic departments to determine how to handle the situation.
“Whenever we are in red, all indoor activities are canceledx. There is no practice, games or activities,” he said.
That prohibition will also remain in place for the next two weeks, Simeroth said.
There are concerns about how sports, such as basketball and wrestling, will be handled because the athletes are in such proximity to one another.
“They are a real threat because of close contact,” he said.
Decisions on winter sports activities will be determined by the number of new cases of the virus.
Meanwhile, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced new statewide guidelines for restaurants and bars.
They include requiring at least six feet in between tables, or requiring dividers.
Also restaurants must close in-person service at 11 p.m. nightly, but can continue curbside or drive-thru operations later.
Also, state employees must wear face masks while at work and anyone visiting a state building must wear a mask.
As of Monday, the health department reported 5,534 positive test results for Canadian County.
Of those, there have been 4,397 recoveries, while 25 people have died.
In Yukon, there have been 2,760 cases, including nine deaths since officials began tracking the pandemic in March.

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