GREAT FALLS- Great Falls high school continues to see an increase in coronavirus cases, and now they’re being forced to temporarily shut down for 48 hours.

The school will remain closed until Wednesday, and those students who were doing in-person education will now do distant learning during these two days.

During this time contact tracing and sanitation will be done, but teachers will remain in the school building to conduct their courses.

“I would not allow for our staff to go back into a school building that I didn’t believe was healthy and safe for them to do so”, says Great Falls Public Schools Superintended Tom Moore.

Even though cases are starting to increase around the school district, health officials are saying there’s a reason why they’re still allowing in-person education.

“I think it goes back to looking at the whole person and the other benefits that children do receive from in-person education, it’s not just the virus. Overall I really do believe that the benefits that the children have with the in-person education outweigh that”, says Cascade City-County Health Officer Trisha Gardner.   

During this time GFPS is also continuing to work with a forensic specialist team to help investigate the cause of their network outage, but they say it could take some time.

“This is not something that you try and slam in a couple of days and it’s done. This is something that takes a long time and it’s a journey you have to get through”, says Tom Hering, director of technology.

Moore says moving forward, if more cases continue to show up, they will temporarily shut down the school once again depending on the situation.

Right now there are 14 total COVID cases within the school district.

-       10 students (Great Falls High)

-       1 staff member (Great Falls High)

-       1 student (East Middle School)

-       1 student (Paris Gibson Education Center)

-       1 student (Whittier Elementary)

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