Watch CBS News

Westmoreland Co. Leaders Navigate Learning Options As County Sees Increase In Cases

GREENSBURG, Pa. (KDKA) - Another 133 new COVID-19 cases were added on Thursday in Westmoreland County.

RELATED STORY: Westmoreland County Sees Another Day Of Triple-Digit Coronavirus Cases As Death Toll Rises

"It is alarming because I do have grandparents and I feel like I'm healthy, but I just worry that if I'm infected, spreading it to other people," said Paige Leonard, a parent in Mount Pleasant.

As county leaders continue to track the spike, school superintendents are meeting with the state Department of Education about the next step.

"My daughter is in middle school, so we are hitting all the grades because we have one in high school, too. She is going every other day and seems to be getting something out of it. But our son in high school hasn't gone in two weeks and it's hard, he wants to learn and he's bored," said Barbara Piasecky.

Piasecky's son attends Hempfield High School, and the district is reporting six positive cases in students in the last two weeks.

"It is concerning, it is. But I don't think a total shutdown is the answer," said Piasecky.

The county's current community spread puts Westmoreland County in the state's substantial category. Recommendations from the state Department of Education call for all schools in the county to shift to full remote if that status stands for two weeks in a row.

"It just doesn't add up for me. I don't see all these sick kids and if they are catching it, it's like the flu, we aren't shutting the schools down for the flu," said Jason Hoffman, a parent in Greensburg.

RELATED STORY: 'Evidence Of Community Spread': Westmoreland County Battling Increase In Coronavirus Cases

The superintendents are waiting to find out if the county will hit that mark again on Friday as parents hope to get the students back in the classroom.

"My son hasn't been in school for two solid weeks and he's in 10th grade. This is a pivotal year and I just said to my husband, how is he going to be prepared for college?" Piasecky said.

Other parents in the county see the benefit of following the recommendation but hope it would not be permanent.

"I feel like we all need to be on the same page because one school will affect another because if you are out and about you all do affect each other," Leonard said.

Ultimately, the decision to change the learning model is up to each individual school district. The PDE's metric system could be updated on Friday or Monday.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.