UPDATE: COVID-19 grounds spring break travel for Superior students

Costa Rica trip, state mock trial competition cancelled.

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The coronavirus has grounded a school trip to Costa Rica and cancelled state competition for mock trial teams.

Twenty Superior High School Spanish students and two chaperones were set to fly to Costa Rica Friday, March 13 for a one-week trip. School district officials called the trip off Wednesday, March 11.

"We understand the Costa Rica trip planned for Spring Break has long been anticipated by students and families. However, we are obligated to first consider the safety of our students and staff in all matters," said Kelly Pugh, assistant to District Administrator Amy Starazecki. "The information we are receiving regarding COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We believe the risk of complications with return travel from Costa Rica to Superior are too great. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the trip."

There were 13 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Costa Rica as of March 11, according to the World Health Organization website.

Activities Director Ray Kosey also announced Wednesday, March 11 that the state mock trial competition has been cancelled. The Dane County Courthouse, which was hosting the event, has closed over coronavirus concerns, Kosey said in an email to families. One of the SHS Mock Trial teams qualified for the state event and was supposed to travel to Madison on Thursday, March 12 for the competition.


The district also cancelled a student trip to New York. A group of 36 eighth-graders from Superior Middle School were slated to travel to New York March 14-18 with 13 chaperones. Pugh said a coordinator was reaching out to families March 12 to let them know of the cancellation.

"We understand families will be disappointed, but we agree that this is the right decision for community health," she said.

The trip is offered to eighth-graders every year, but it is not a school-sponsored activity like the Costa Rica trip, she said.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services announced three new confirmed cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, March 11, bringing the state total to six. Dane and Fond du Lac counties have two cases each, while Pierce and Waukesha counties both have one confirmed case. Gov. Tony Evers is planning to hold a press conference Thursday, March 12 at 11:30 a.m. to discuss the state's response to the coronavirus.

This story was updated at 8:27 a.m. March 12 with new information from the school district and an updated count of coronavirus cases in Costa Rica. It was originally posted at 4:59 p.m. March 11. Two dates were corrected at 9:52 a.m. March 12 and new information about the New York trip was added at 10:08 a.m.

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Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
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