Update on Covid-19 Mitigation, New Guidance, Future Considerations
At this past Tuesday's School Board meeting, we provided an update on our ongoing refinement of Covid-19 mitigation strategies as we adjust to ever-changing guidance from health organizations. We also confirmed we will continue to require masking in our buildings at this time.
Additionally, we shared that at the February 22 Board meeting, we will consider any potential adjustments to our Health and Safety Plan. At our February meeting we may decide to continue to require masks or we may decide to adjust or remove the requirement at some point.
Since the Board's meeting in December, the CDC, CHOP PolicyLab, and the Chester County Health Department have all issued new guidance. The CDC reduced the need for isolation from 10 to 5 days and the CCHD, whose guidance we followed throughout the first year of the pandemic, has ended school district responsibility for contract tracing.
As for CHOP, their guidance states, in part: "With evidence that COVID-19 is becoming a milder infection in most children, and at a time when all adults and youth in K-12 settings have been offered vaccination, our PolicyLab experts and CHOP clinical leadership have reached a consensus that preserving as much in-person schooling as possible outweighs the risks of infection to children and school staff at this stage of the pandemic."
Based on the new guidance and, just as importantly, our experience, we will:
- Provide notification K-5 when there is a positive case in a classroom
- Continue to track positive cases district-wide on our online dashboard
- No longer conduct contact tracing
- Continue to encourage parents to keep students home when they aren’t feeling well
- Parents should continue to work directly with your school nurse or principal if you have any questions
Thankfully, the number of positive student and staff cases reported continues to drop. Likewise, the number of positive cases throughout the county continues to decline. This past week, for example, we saw our staff and student reported cases go down by more than half (to 46 from 95 the previous week).
As we continually adjust our mitigation strategies, we need to prepare for a time when we will be moving away from some of these strategies.
As always, thank you for your cooperation and support of our schools.
Kenneth E. Batchelor
Superintendent of Schools
- Contact Tracing