Sep. 27—TIPTON — Tipton and Tri-Central schools are seeing COVID-19 cases drop after experiencing spikes earlier this school year.
Tipton superintendent Ryan Glaze said they've "hit a lull" over the last two weeks or so as both the positivity rate and number of students in quarantine have dropped considerably.
Glaze said Tipton schools saw a surge the week of Aug. 27, when 15 students and five staff members tested positive. More than 120 students were in quarantine, and there were about 200 at times during the first couple weeks of school.
"The difference this year and last year, we've had students we've placed in quarantine test positive," Glaze said last week week. "That's been a change for us."
Positive cases and the number of quarantined students have dropped since the week of Aug. 27, which Glaze said was the worst week at Tipton.
Last week, there was just one case and four students in quarantine.
"It's changed dramatically, and we're pretty happy about it," Glaze said.
Tipton started the school year mask-optional, and the policy remains. Like nearly every other area school district, parents opposed to masks and sending asymptomatic kids home have made their voices heard at school board meetings.
Glaze said there are no plans at this time to change the mask policy.
Tri-Central is also sticking with its mask-optional policy.
Tri-Central superintendent Dave Driggs told the Tribune earlier this month a spike in cases was observed among staff members when about six were out at one time.
"That's a definite spike for us," he said.
Tri-Central reported 10 new student cases last week, with four at the elementary and six at the middle/high school.
"The student (cases), they've been low and consistent," Driggs said.
Like Tipton, Tri-Central is contact tracing and quarantining necessary students, despite objections from some parents.
"The parents' concern was they definitely don't want us to mask mandate and to eliminate the quarantining," Driggs said.
Spencer Durham can be reached at 765-454-8598, by email at email@example.com or on Twitter at @Durham_KT.