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Meanwhile, the St. Helens School District says two elementary schools are reopening after temporary closures.

PMG PHOTO: SCOTT KEITH - St. Helens High School principal Katy Wagner at the September start of the new school year. St. Helens High School will reopen Tuesday, Oct. 12, after a one-day shutdown that allowed time for contact tracing and a cleansing of the school.

"The extra day provided us the necessary time to complete a deep cleaning of the high school facility and the time needed to complete a thorough contact tracing," said principal Katy Wagner in a letter to school families and staff.

The letter continued, "We want to thank the families that worked so closely with us to help us ensure an accurate contact tracing of those attending the high school. This helps us to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus at not only the high school but also at other schools, and the community at large."

Wagner previously notified the school community that St. Helens High School had several COVID-19 positive cases that required the district to conduct contact tracing. That prompted the school to close Monday, Oct. 11.

Contact tracing is the process used to identify all individuals that the infected individual came in close contact with, so that public health officials can determine others who may come down sick or spread the virus to others.

Wagner said Monday's closure was done "out of an abundance of caution and by putting the safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our decision."

The district did not provide the latest number of COVID-19 cases in school.

Meanwhile, the St. Helens School District is reopening two elementary schools this week.

Lewis & Clark Elementary School reopened Monday, Oct. 11, while neighboring Columbia City Elementary School will be opening Wednesday, Oct. 13.

Both elementary school had announced a number of students were sick, possibly from COVID-19.

Lewis & Clark Elementary shut down temporarily on Sept. 27, while Columbia City Elementary closed its doors two days later.


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