JUNCTION CITY — Spring Valley Elementary School was closed Thursday and Friday this week because too many staff members have COVID-19, and the school cannot operate normally.

Geary County School District’s COVID-19 team, including Superintendent Reginald Eggleston, Emergency Management Director Scott Clark, Chief Operations Officer David Wild and Personnel Services Director Tim Winter, made the decision Wednesday afternoon, after evaluating the situation.

At the Board of Education meeting Monday, Eggleston announced that the district’s quarantine timeline shortened to five days, following the new recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. With the upcoming three-day weekend, Marketing and Media Specialist Lindley Lund said the district is hoping enough staff will have finished quarantining by the time the school opens again on Tuesday to resume normal operations.

“We’re hoping with it being a three-day weekend with Martin Luther King Jr. Day, that will give some time so that if people do need to stay at home to quarantine, hopefully the next five days off with help so that when we return on Tuesday there will be more staff available,” Lund said.

Lund said the COVID-19 team met Thursday morning with the principals of the other schools in the district to monitor how the higher COVID-19 numbers are affecting each of the district’s schools. Currently, the district has not made the decision to shut any other schools down for any amount of time. Lund said the school district is not planning to change any of its procedures currently.

The district requires all students, staff and visitors to wear masks in its facilities and vehicles.

“The safety of our students and our staff is always at the front of our plans, so we, as a community, have to focus on that,” Lund said. “Hopefully our families understand that this was a necessary precaution to take during this time.”