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PLT school district returns to in-person learning for 6-12

The Prophetstown-Lyndon-Tampico School District's 6th through 12 graders return to in-person learning earlier than initially expected.

PROPHETSTOWN, Ill. — UPDATE: After a change in COVID-19 guidance, 6th through 12th graders in the Prophetstown Lyndon Tampico School District returned to in-person learning Thursday, Jan. 13.

The age group was supposed to remain remote until Monday, Jan. 17 due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, according to a Facebook post from the district, but a recent update to Illinois Department of Public Health and State Board of Education's COVID-19 isolation guidelines for students allowed them to return to the classroom early.

All extracurricular activities and athletics also resumed on Jan. 13, according to the district. Boys basketball, however, will remain paused until Jan. 17.

Masks requirements for all students and staff inside school buildings were unaffected by the change and continue to be enforced, according to the district.

ORIGINAL: The Prophetstown Lyndon Tampico School District announced they are switching to remote learning starting Monday, Jan. 10 following a COVID-19 case surge among district students and staff.

The move to remote learning was supposed to take place Friday, Jan. 7. However, the district canceled all classes Friday due to extremely cold weather and heating issues at one of the elementary buildings.

In a Facebook post, the district said grades 6-12 will move to remove learning until Monday, Jan. 17. All extracurricular activities and sports been postponed for the time being the age group as well until in-person learning continues Tuesday, Jan. 18.

It is unclear how many people tested positive for the virus.

Students attending Prophetstown and Tampico elementary schools will continue in-person learning, according to the district, unless otherwise directed by the health department or if they are excluded from in-person learning by district staff.

This all comes as the nation continues to break COVID-19 case number records.

On Thursday, the Whiteside County Health Department announced COVID-19 Antiviral pills will be available in the coming weeks. The pills, made by Pfizer and Merck are for those with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infection, or for those who are at high risk of becoming severely ill, including hospitalization or death. These pills will be available by prescription only and should be taken as soon as possible after being diagnosed. 

RELATED: Amid COVID-19 case influx, Whiteside Co. opens new SHIELD testing site

Paxlovid is expected to reduce the risk of hospitalizations by 89% and Molnupiravir by about 30%. Molnupiravir is meant for use when other treatment options are not available. 

“I strongly urge Illinoisans to work with their doctors to determine if they are eligible to receive these anti-viral medications,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said. “We will continue to be guided by science, and grateful for the incredible scientific advances that have given us so many tools. The best thing everyone can do for their health and others is to get vaccinated, boosted and wear a mask.”