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Large party tied to COVID-19 surge at Parkway North High School

A district spokesperson said some of the positive cases are connected to a large party that took place last weekend

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Parkway North High School has decided to temporarily close its doors due to a high volume of positive COVID-19 cases and required quarantines.

A district spokesperson said 161 students were absent on Wednesday. That number includes quarantined students, those showing symptoms and those who've tested positive for COVID-19. 

The district's Health Dashboard shows 21 students at the school have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Thursday evening. That number could rise because the district is awaiting test results from students showing symptoms.

The school will transition into virtual learning starting Thursday and will return to in-person learning on March 29, following spring break.

All events including — after-school activities, athletics, and practices — have been canceled and will remain canceled until in-person learning returns.

The closure forced the girl's basketball team to forfeit a playoff game Wednesday night, ending their season. 

Students who need to pick up essential items from school have been instructed to enter the school through the tennis court side of the building on Thursday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. School staff will be there to escort them.

According to the letter sent by Superintendent Keith Marty to all families, the school has completed contact tracing, investigated and reported the situation to the St. Louis County Department of Public Health.

Through the investigation, it was indicated that the surge in cases was due to large group activities with students outside Parkway North High School. The district spokesperson said some of the positive cases are connected to a large party that took place last weekend.

“We are very disappointed to have to share this information with you. We know this is a significant disruption for our students, families and staff and we appreciate your understanding. Our first priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. We will continue to be in touch and provide more information as needed. Please feel free to contact your grade level principal if you have questions or concerns,” said Marty.

The school urges students who develop COVID-like symptoms or become sick, to contact a healthcare provider immediately.

Parkway moved back to fully in-person learning for all students who opted for the in-person option. The school had a few remote-learning days built into the schedule.