CLINTON — Clinton Community School District will switch all three of its schools to online learning from Nov. 30 to Jan. 15 in accordance with Rock County Health Department recommendations due to rising cases of COVID-19 infection.

Clinton Elementary School was closed to in-person instruction on Nov. 9 because 30% of the staff had either been affected by COVID-19 or had contact with someone with the virus, according to a previous release from the district. Initially, the elementary school was to return to in-person instruction after the Thanksgiving break.

On Friday, the Rock County Health Department strongly recommended all schools switch to virtual learning for a minimum of two weeks following each holiday break. The health department recommended schools shift to the county’s Phase One reopening plan which recommends schools offer virtual learning options for Kindergarten through Grade 12 students.

The Clinton Community School District Board of Education held a Special Board meeting Monday night and voted to adhere to the guidance of the Rock County Health Department by shifting all schools to full virtual starting Nov. 30 through Jan. 15 for a total of 25 academic days.

“Please know that CCSD is taking this action to protect the health and safety of our students, staff, and families,” a letter to Clinton Community School District families stated. “The number of COVID-19 cases in Rock County and around the state continue to rise exponentially.”

Rock County Health Department data indicates Clinton has the largest number of active cases per 10,000 compared to every other community in Rock County, the letter to families stated.

A total of 247 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Clinton since data started to be compiled this past spring.

“We understand that the shift to full virtual is not ideal and will place extra hardships on families,” the letter continues. “The decision to transition to full virtual was not easy but the sudden and dramatic rise in COVID cases throughout our community has put a massive strain on our school systems ability to operate with an in-person model.”

Clinton is among several schools in the area that recently have switched to online learning. Powers Elementary School in the Beloit Turner School District, and Marshall Middle School and Craig High School in the Janesville School District have decided to switch to online learning until after the Thanksgiving break. In the School District of Beloit, Merrill, Todd and Beloit Memorial High School building have been closed for two weeks due to COVID-19 concerns. No students have been instructed in these buildings, but school staff have been working in the buildings.