Classes at Thunder Mountain High School shifted to distance delivery only for Monday, April 19, following three confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the high school. Contact tracing was underway as of Monday. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)

In-person classes to resume Thursday at Thunder Mountain following COVID cases

Boys soccer and wrestling teams to skip practice for quarantine and testing

This story has been updated to include new information and will continue to be updated as more information becomes available.

All Thunder Mountain High School classes will continue with distance delivery on Tuesday, April 20, the Juneau School District announced on its website late Monday afternoon. All other schools in the district are open and functioning according to the normal schedule.

This follows an unplanned distance learning day for TMHS students on Monday after three people at the high school tested positive for COVID-19. In-person classes are set to resume on Thursday, April 22, as every Wednesday is designated as a district-wide, independent study day.

“Out of an abundance of caution to protect the health of the TMHS community, Tuesday, April 20 will be another distance learning day for all classes,” the district’s website read.

According to the school’s website, public health contact tracing for the confirmed cases is now complete. However, additional testing for close contacts is underway, and those results are not yet available.

“As far as the information we have so far, it appears that exposure took place outside of school,” Kristin Bartlett, chief of staff at the district, said in a phone interview late Monday afternoon.

She declined to provide details about the people who have tested positive, citing privacy concerns.

She said she didn’t know if the people involved had been vaccinated. But, she said that vaccination status would affect the protocols public health suggests as contact is made with people who may have been exposed or diagnosed.

According to the school’s website, the wrestling and boys soccer teams will not practice this week as members complete quarantine and testing requirements. Other extracurricular activities are approved to move forward as planned.

Monday’s shift to online learning was announced via email to parents on Sunday afternoon. It’s the first time the district has shifted an entire school to distance learning. During past occurrences, exposed classrooms have moved to distance delivery while public health officials conducted contract tracing and affected individuals completed testing.

“Part of the reason is that it was the weekend, and it takes a little longer to trace and also because there are multiple cases and we wanted to make sure it was a contained environment. So far, looks like it was a contained environment and testing will confirm that,” Bartlett said.

Protocols are in place

According to an email shared with district parents late Sunday, Juneau Public Health officials and the district are following protocols to isolate people diagnosed with COVID-19, identify close contacts and disinfect the school.

[Juneau schools expand in-person learning]

People in the school participating in activities or in classrooms who may have been exposed have been contacted directly. Unless otherwise notified, a child has not been identified as a close contact, does not need to quarantine or be tested, according to the district. Close contact is considered being within 6 feet of someone who tests positive for COVID-19 for a cumulative of 15 minutes or more per day.

On an update posted on the high school’s website, families with students who need to access the school for internet needs are encouraged to reach out to the principal directly at

Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at or 907-308-4891. Ben Hohenstatt contributed reporting to this article.

More in News

(Juneau E
Aurora forecast for the week of Nov. 27

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

“The Phantom of the Opera” is screened with a live musical soundtrack at the Gold Town Theater in April. Three of the musicians are scheduled to perform Sunday during two screenings of the 1928 silent film “The Wind.” (Courtesy of Gold Town Theater)
This weekend’s lineup at the Gold Town Theater really blows

Xmas Bazaar Xtravaganza nearly sold out already, but seeing “The Wind” to live music a breeze.

Scant patches of snow remain at the base of Eaglecrest Ski area on Wednesday despite snowmaking efforts that occurred during the weekend, due to warmer temperatures and rain this week. The opening date for the ski area, originally set for Dec. 2 and then delayed until Dec. 9, is now undetermined. (Photo courtesy of Eaglecrest Ski Area)
Eaglecrest opening delayed again, target date now TBD

Warm temperatures and rain thwart efforts to open ski area on Saturday.

Work crews continue removing hundreds of truckloads of debris from Zimovia Highway since the Nov. 20 landslide in Wrangell. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities)
Clearing work continues at Wrangell slide; fundraising grows to help families

Juneau, with several thousand pounds of food collected in drive, among many communities assisting.

The front page of the Juneau Empire on Dec. 4, 2005. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Empire Archives: Juneau’s history for the week of Dec. 10

Three decades of capital city coverage.

Staff of the Ketchikan Misty Fjords Ranger District carry a 15-foot-long lodgepole pine near the Silvis Lake area to a vessel for transport to Juneau on Nov. 30. (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Together Tree departs Ketchikan for Governor’s Residence in Juneau

Annual Holiday Open House featuring 21,350 cookies scheduled 3-6 p.m. Dec. 12.

Female caribou runs near Teshekpuk Lake on June 12, 2022. (Photo by Ashley Sabatino, Bureau of Land Management)
Alaska tribes urge protection for federal lands

80% of food comes from surrounding lands and waters for Alaska Native communities off road system.

Ron Ekis (wearing red) and Dakota Brown order from Devils Hideaway at the new Vintage Food Truck Park as Marty McKeown, owner of the property, shows seating facilities still under construction to other local media members on Wednesday. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
New Vintage Food Truck Park makes year-round debut

Two of planned five food trucks now open, with covered seating and other offerings in the works.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Tuesday, Dec. 5, 2023

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Most Read