Health and Safety Update

Health and Safety Update
Posted on 11/13/2020
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Health and Safety Update

Nov. 13, 2020

Dear WWPRSD Community,

This week, we have completed our tenth week of our Hybrid 1 and Hybrid 2 schedules. As I wrote yesterday, we are witnessing escalating COVID cases within our school community, county, state, and nation. Today, we can confirm two additional positive COVID cases of both a Grover Middle School student and a Community Middle School student who are both all-virtual students as well as a Millstone River School staff member. As the students are virtual, there is no need for additional action of the school district. Contact tracing of the Millstone River staff member has occurred and there is no need for the quarantine of any additional staff members.

Credit to all members of our school community for completing 47 days of in-person instruction. Each day we are able to remain open is a gift to our students and it is our collective responsibility to remain steadfast to the health and safety guidelines. To date, there have been no documented cases of in-school transmission. However, the spread of COVID is certainly impacting our school district and forcing daily quarantining and contact tracing. The collective decisions that members of our school community make will determine our ability to remain open. The safety of our students and staff will drive the decisions and our ability to maintain our in-person instructional program.

Some upcoming public health benchmarks will further affect the rules that govern contact tracing. In a prior communication, I shared that the NJ Department of Health issued new guidance on the definition of a close contact. Contact tracing requirements require that “someone who was within six (6) feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two (2) days before the illness onset until the time the patient is isolated” (NJDOE 10.23.20) be quarantined. In addition, the rules that govern contact tracing place each community within one of six regions. The rules governing school contact tracing can be found in the NJ Department of Health School Guidance. On page 13 of the guidance, the NJDOH provides a chart that directs the “Exclusion Table.”  Each region is then assigned a risk level based upon various COVID data points. Currently, all regions are listed as moderate risk. Under moderate risk contact tracing requires health departments to quarantine close contacts of a positive case. However, once a region shifts to “orange” or “High Risk” contact tracing fundamentally shifts to contacts of close contacts of a positive case. WW-P is unique and assigned to two regions, as Mercer County and Middlesex County are split between Central East and Central West. As such, in discussion with local and state health officials, we will always default to the region that has the highest risk level to maximize the safety of our school community. Based upon the current trend data, Central East and Central West are projected to move to a “High Risk” status within 2 – 3 weeks. Once this level is breached, we must be prepared for much greater school impact, which may include short-term closures or longer-term closures of classrooms, schools, and the greater school district.

Furthermore, with holidays and celebrations ahead of us, we want to remind families that should you choose to travel to a state that is listed on the NJ quarantine list or travel internationally, and your child is participating on a hybrid schedule, they must quarantine for 14 days following their return. Students will be expected to attend classes virtually. It is recommended that parents communicate travel/quarantine plans to your child’s teacher and building principal.

Our continued thanks and appreciation to our families, staff and students for vigilantly completing the daily health screening form and adhering to the rules related to social distancing, mask wearing, and temperature checks. Our collective efforts to follow the established protocols is the best defense to keep one another safe. 

Sincerely,

David Aderhold, Ed.D. 

Superintendent of Schools    

 


 

Updated Health Data as of 11/13/2020

  • 3 – Number of WW-P staff members with positive COVID-19 Results (one teacher, one administrator, and one support staff)  

  • 3 – Number of contracted staff members that work in WW-P on a daily basis with positive COVID-19 results (contracted staff include custodians, food service, security, and bus drivers)

  • 22 – Number of WW-P staff members currently in quarantine and/or isolation

  • 5 – Number of contracted staff members that work in WW-P currently in quarantine and/or isolation

  • 7 – Number of WW-P students with positive COVID-19 results

  • 105 – Number of WW-P students currently in quarantine and/or isolation

    Reasons for quarantine and/or isolation include:

    • Staff and students that identify symptoms on the Daily Health Screening form (questions from the NJ Department of Health)
    • Staff and students that have been in close contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more during a 24 period) of a COVID-19 positive individual
    • Staff and students that have traveled from a state on the NJ Travel Advisory List
    • Staff and students that have traveled internationally
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