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School Districts Face Staffing Shortage As Covid Total Exceeds 50,000

State health officials announced 663 new cases of COVID-19 in Nebraska yesterday. There are now 50,059 confirmed cases of the virus in the state, and 514 deaths. The Department of Health and Human Services reports 29 percent of hospital beds and 80 percent of ventilators are available. Television station KSNB reports that Grand Island Public Schools is experiencing a rapid rise in teachers and staff having to quarantine after testing positive or being exposed to the virus. District personnel chief Wayne Stelk says about a quarter of the district's certified teaching staff have been sidelined “due to COVID-related situations.” Stelk says the district could have to move some schools to remote learning if the staffing shortage worsens. Officials with Northwest Public Schools in Grand Island say they also have had trouble finding substitute teachers this year.

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