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Wilson Elementary is first in Rapid City school district to close for COVID-19
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Wilson Elementary is first in Rapid City school district to close for COVID-19

Students leave school

Students leave Wilson Elementary in Rapid City before the coronavirus pandemic.

Wilson Elementary School is the first school within the Rapid City Area Schools district to close for two weeks.

The school moved to Level 3 on Thursday, defined as "substantial spread" of COVID-19. There was confirmed coronavirus spread in the school, which will stay closed through next week with off-campus learning for all students.

Not everybody has to do a mandatory 14-day quarantine unless they were identified as a close contact or had a household contact test positive, district spokeswoman Katy Urban said Thursday.

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Urban would not share specific numbers of how many students and staff had tested positive for COVID-19 in the school or how many are in quarantine after direct exposure to a COVID-19 case.

Urban said the absences due to active COVID-19 cases and quarantines made it "difficult to staff our classrooms," and that the district decided the safest decision was to close the building and move to Level 3.

"We aren't sharing specific numbers," she said. "It's important to note that the context is as important as the numbers themselves."

RCAS administration will reassess sometime "mid- to late next week" whether the school should stay in Level 3 longer or if Wilson can shift levels, Urban said.

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