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The latest news about the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 in Montana.

COVID-related staff shortages force some Montana schools online

Lockers in an empty school hallway.

The Smith Valley School in Kalispell is shifting to remote learning. The school doesn’t have enough teachers because many are out sick with COVID-19.

A letter on the school’s website Wednesday said the school will likely be closed through the rest of the week as staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 isolate. The school has a little more than 200 students in kindergarten through eighth grade. The school is providing laptops to parents so kids can continue classes online.

As the omicron variant spreads throughout Montana it is infecting school staff and students, making it difficult to keep classes in person. The variant has shown an ability to infect fully vaccinated people as well as those who have received a booster shot.

One of the state’s largest districts, Great Falls Public Schools, also shifted to remote learning due to staffing shortages this week.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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