COVID-19 Update - January 7, 2022 Special Board Meeting

Posted on 01/10/2022
masks


Administration provided the Board with a COVID-19 update.

Key points discussed include:

DISTRICT DATA - As of 3:00 p.m. today, a total of 696 positive cases among students and staff have been reported since we returned from Winter Break. Cases reported in the last 7 days account for 49% of the total cases reported this school year. 

SCHOOL SPREAD - Almost all cases reported this week are connected to home/outside of school exposure. We are seeing minimal evidence of school spread (less than 1%), but that is to be expected given that students have only been back in school for five days. We will continue to monitor for potential school spread next week. 

ATTENDANCE - This week, the District has averaged more than 200 staff members out on a daily basis. Average student attendance across the District today was 91.8%. Five buildings were below 90% attendance. 

REGIONAL DATA - COVID-19 cases in the region are at an all-time high. The 7-day rolling average positivity rate in St. Charles County is currently at 22.39% – the highest it has been since the start of the pandemic. Hospitalizations – including those among pediatric patients – are up, ER waits are long and many elective procedures have been cancelled to conserve hospital resources. 

RESPONSE - Last year, we were in school all year and never had to close a building or shift to remote learning for all students. Masks, along with other protocols, helped keep healthy students in school and healthy staff at work. With positive cases and absences at an all-time high, reinstating a temporary mask requirement for all grade levels may help lessen the COVID impact in our buildings, while ensuring we are doing our part to lessen spread in the broader community.
  
After considering the data presented, the Board voted 7-0 to temporarily require masks in an effort to keep schools open and ensure students and staff remain healthy and able to attend school and work.

Beginning Monday, January 10 through Friday, January 21 masks will be required for all students, staff and visitors in District facilities during school hours. This includes all grade levels and early childhood programs.

District Administration is also advising buildings to limit visitors and postpone large gatherings and assemblies during the school day when possible, or move such events to a virtual format. Masks and physical distancing are strongly recommended for evening activities that happen during non-school hours.

The updated protocols are temporary and will be in effect through Friday, January 21. At the next regularly scheduled Board meeting on January 20, the Board will again review the District’s data regarding positive cases, absences and potential school spread.

The Board understands that any change to COVID-19 mitigation protocols may generate questions for members of our community. Please email COVID-related questions to [email protected] and check the District website next week for updated FAQs.
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