High schools in Pembina, N.D., and Walhalla, N.D., have closed their buildings for two weeks after members of the student body and teaching staff tested positive for COVID-19.

In a letter to parents dated Sunday, Sept. 20, and posted to the North Border School District’s website, school district school administrators said that, over the weekend of Sept. 19-20, there were positive COVID-19 cases within the district. The grades involved were seven through 12 at Pembina High School, and in-school classes for those students were canceled on Monday, Sept. 21. Distance learning was set to begin Tuesday, Sept. 22.

All volleyball players and coaches were considered close contacts, and the public health department recommended that they self-quarantine for a week, the letter said.

Classes were remaining open for the elementary school in Pembina and the entire Walhalla school, according to the letter.

However, on Thursday, Sept. 24, the North Border School District said, in another letter to parents, that it was closing school for grades seven through 12 at Walhalla High School for two weeks. Parents were asked to pick up their children’s books inside the front door between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Pembina grades seven through 12 will restart school Monday, Oct. 5, and Walhalla students, on Wednesday, Oct. 7, the letter said.

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Students in Walhalla, like in Pembina, will do distance learning until they return to in-school classes, the letter said.

Students playing football and volleyball will return to practice Wednesday, Oct 7.

There were no positive cases in the elementary schools in Pembina and Walhalla, and they will remain open. However, there will no longer be a recess before school, the letter said. Instead, students will go to their classrooms when they enter school.