Ben Eielson Junior Senior High School temporarily closed due to thirteen new COVID cases

Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 6:01 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -The Ben Eielson Junior-Senior High School is closed down due to several students and faculty contracting COVID-19. The school is currently undergoing a deep clean with new electrostatic sprayers, and will reopen on November third.

“The situation at Eielson is we had a total of nine students, and four staff, so a total of 13 positive cases within a two week period. The student cases were more isolated, they we’re part of an athletic team and we were able to take care of those right away, and you know, kids in quarantine. Then a little bit later we started seeing some staff positive cases and the challenge with our positive cases weather it’s staff or students, are the close contacts," said Karen Gaborik, superintendent of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District. "So what was happening is you get a positive case, and then there’s close contacts in the building, and then you know people have to go home right, and quarantine. So that starts to impact, you start to have staffing challenges. We don’t have a lot of kids in the building right now, but you start to not being able to serve the kids who are in the building.”

According to Gaborik, the new electrostatic sprayers the school is being cleaned with make the cleaning process so fast it can be done in a weekend if need be, but in this case a two week closure is being taken.

“The other thing I wanted to be really careful of, is you know we have a good close working relationship with our military installations. Recognizing that Eielson Junior-Senior Highschool is on Eielson Air Force Base, and wanting to be really careful, kind of have an abundance of caution. Shut down the building for two weeks, try to get everybody healthy, and not have any more impact than we were already experiencing, for all the families and personnel that live and work on the Air Force Base,” said Gaborik.

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