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Waterloo Schools cancels extracurricular activities amid spread of COVID-19

Waterloo Schools cancels extracurricular activities amid spread of COVID-19

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WATERLOO – Waterloo Schools are canceling after-school activities and Cedar Falls Schools asked those traveling out of the country for spring break to self-isolate upon their return to prevent the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in the Cedar Valley.

Waterloo Schools announced Friday afternoon "any non-instructional/non-essential athletics and activities" scheduled Saturday, March 14, through Sunday, March 29, would be canceled to help decrease the amount of personal contact.

The district said those non-essential activities include after school clubs, extramurals, after-school activities, all games and meets, practices, open weight rooms and gyms, any off-site practices or gatherings and any fine arts concerts and programs during that time period.

As of Friday, Y-Care and the Boys and Girls Club would continue as scheduled.

Waterloo Schools will be closed next week for spring break, and there will be no school for students the following Monday, March 23, for a teacher quality day. The district was not cancelling any school days as of Friday.

An email sent to district families reads: “At this time, the Centers for Disease Control is advising school districts, like ours, located in areas where the outbreak is not currently significant to hold off on short-term closures as that may only exacerbate the spread to vulnerable/older adults the children would then be around. At the point where the outbreak may be more pervasive locally, we will consider alternative plans.” 

The Cedar Falls Community School District sent an email to staff and families Friday with a warning for those who may have planned trips out of the state or the country, which could facilitate the spread of the virus.

“The Iowa Department of Public Health recommends that anyone who visits those countries voluntarily self-isolate for 14 days upon their return," the district said in their email. "Families who plan to travel to any of these areas should notify their school to make arrangements for the student’s re-entry to school and follow its public health recommendations."

The Cedar Falls district is scheduled to continue classes after spring break as scheduled.

“While our overarching objective is to keep students and staff members safe, we also acknowledge that we have a social responsibility to ensure the continuity of education for our students. The Black Hawk County Health Department has asserted that the risk to students and staff is minimal at this time and they do not believe that the current situation warrants closing.”

In the event that the Iowa Department of Public Health determines a need for closure, or other action, the Black Hawk County Health Department and school districts will coordinate to respond and communicate additional information at that time.

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