(Source: Conestoga Valley High School and Warwick High School)
(Source: Conestoga Valley High School and Warwick High School)

Update: Manheim Township Middle School and Bart-Colerain Elementary School announced Thursday that they will both be cancelling in-person classes on Friday because of Covid-19 related incidents.

The middle school is closed for the day to allow for students and staff to receive grief counseling following the death of Alexandra Chitwood, the school counselor, this week.

"We are greatly saddened by Mrs. Chitwood's death; she touched our school community and the lives of our students," school principal Christine Resh wrote in a letter to the school community Thursday.

Bart-Colerain announced Thursday that they would be cancelling in-person classes on Friday due to two new confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Previously reported

These two cases bring Solanco School District's total case count to three, although the third was reported at Quarryville Elementary School in October and is no longer active.

Warwick High School and Conestoga Valley High School are the latest Lancaster County schools to shut down because of a spike in Covid-19 cases.

Conestoga Valley confirmed seven positive cases, as well as one probable case, in the week since Oct. 24. This is the second time that the school has closed this fall. They were the first county school to do so in September.

Warwick reported one new positive case, bringing their total to five active cases in the school and nine in the district.

According to LNP, there have been over 200 cases of Covid-19 reported in Lancaster County schools throughout the fall, including eight from Warwick High School and 15 from Conestoga Valley High School.

Both districts released statements Tuesday that the high schools would discontinue in-person classes for the rest of the week. They will return to virtual learning while the buildings are cleaned and disinfected as per guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control.

“It appears as though individuals from our Warwick High School family who have been together both on and off campus may be spreading the virus,” the district said in a letter to parents. “It is for this reason that we continue to ask that you and your families follow the CDC guidance on wearing facial coverings, practicing social distancing, and avoiding large and small group gatherings.”

Conestoga Valley said the outbreak there also originated off campus.

The majority of extracurricular activities at both high schools will occur as scheduled with strictly enforced Covid-19 athletic guidelines.

Olivia Smucker