Camas High to remain closed for in-person classes through Thursday, March 18 following COVID-19 outbreak

School district says private weekend party at off-school site led to 16 positive cases, 34 close contacts among Camas High students

Camas High School will remain closed to in-person instruction through Thursday, March 18, after a COVID-19 outbreak stemming from a private party infected more than a dozen Camas students.

“There are 16 positive cases and 34 close contacts among youth who attend Camas High School,” the Camas School District announced in a news release sent out on Friday, March 12. “To date, all confirmed cases are tied to a non-school, off-site event that occurred over the weekend involving (Camas High) students.”

The district closed the high school on Thursday and Friday, March 11-12, after learning of the outbreak on Wednesday, March 10 — just two days after the district reopened Camas High to in-person hybrid classes.

“Although Cohort A students attended school in-person Monday and Tuesday (this week), we are relieved to report no current confirmed spread of the virus at school,” Camas High Principal Tom Morris said in a letter sent to families on Friday, March 12.

Morris credited the high school’s strict adherence to COVID-19 safety protocols, such as wearing masks and physically distancing for the lack of COVID transmission inside Camas High.

“That said, with the growing number of cases, and to prevent the spread of the virus that can occur before a person knows they are sick (or if they are positive for COVID-19 but asymptomatic), we will continue teaching and learning through remote learning through (Thursday, March 18),” Morris stated.

The district plans to resume athletics and extracurricular activities on Wednesday, March 17. Cohort B students at Camas High School will return for their first in-person hybrid classes on Thursday, March 18. And Cohort A students will resume in-person classes on Monday, March 22.

The district is encouraging students who attended the March 5 party, or who “attend gatherings where social distancing and masking are not in place” and their household members to get tested for COVID-19 and isolate.

Clark County Public Health also is urging those who have been in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 to consider isolating from elderly or medically fragile family members and get tested for COVID-19.

Morris thanked community members who alerted high school and district administrators to the potential of a COVID outbreak following the weekend party, and said “thanks to prompt and coordinated actions by many, including case investigation and contact tracing,” the district “is slowing the spread in our community.”

To read more about the COVID-19 outbreak among Camas students, read the Post-Record online at camaspostrecord.com/news/2021/mar/11/camas-students-weekend-party-leads-to-covid-19-outbreak-canceled-classes.