Mask Opponent

Chris Schroeder takes part in a small protest opposing mask mandates as cross country runners pass Wednesday, Sept. 2, near Union High School. The protest was one of several around area schools, held as several Union R-XI School District staff members have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Three more Union R-XI School District employees have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The district notified parents the night of Wednesday, Sept. 2, that a teacher at Union Middle School had tested positive, and that the Franklin County Health Department would be reaching out to anyone who might have come in contact with the teacher, Superintendent Dr. Steve Weinhold said Friday.

“If not (in contact), everybody else reports to school,” he said.

To follow health department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, some other teachers at the school are being quarantined, Weinhold said. After talking to health department officials, some students followed recommendations and also went into quarantine.

On Tuesday, Sept. 8, Weinhold said two more district employees had tested positive for coronavirus.

The positive COVID-19 cases bring the total to four confirmed among Union R-XI staff since classes started Wednesday, Aug. 26.

An office employee at Central Elementary School tested positive Saturday, Aug. 29.

The positive test at Central led other office employees to go into quarantine, and an interim principal and other officials were appointed.

Students and staff at Union Middle and High schools are required to wear face masks when they can’t social distance. The district’s board of education narrowly voted to have students attend classes five days a week, instead of doing a hybrid model where students attend classes on certain days of the week, while others learn from home.

The district does have the option of virtual learning, with students using software from an Arizona company but reporting to Union R-XI teachers, who are available for assistance.

The district is not changing its policies, but is always assessing the situation, Weinhold said Friday.