Health and Safety Weekly Update
Week of Monday, October 26th - Friday, October 30th
Good Afternoon South Brunswick,
Hard to believe that November is upon us and we are holding our first parent/teacher conferences of the year. As we continue to search for silver linings, we are assessing the positives and negatives of moving to all virtual parent/teacher conferences when life gets back to the “old norm”. We may find that this method is advantageous to working families, but we also may find that sometimes, the in-person touch for these conferences is invaluable. Stay tuned!
This past week has seen an uptick in cases statewide and also in South Brunswick and while we have been very fortunate to have no in-school “outbreaks”, we have seen a few positive cases in the district. All cases were mitigated by these individuals following proper protocols of not being in close contact with others prior to their first symptom. This will not always be the case, but if we are vigilant in following the safety protocols and guidelines in place, we will be able to control any spread. The key remains practicing strong social distancing measures, mask wearing and making smart decisions about how we gather and socialize. I again feel that I need to stress how important it is to follow the safety protocols! This has to be a partnership between family and schools and I cannot emphasize this enough. In the past week, we have had students who arrived to our athletic programs with fever and who did not complete the screening questionnaire. It is very important that everyone does their part. For any parent whose child will be in the school for any reason, YOU MUST complete the questionnaire prior to your child arriving at the school. Take your child’s temperature to make sure they do not have a fever and make sure you do not send them if they have been in contact with anyone who has tested positive or even if they are a presumptive positive and just waiting for results. Err on the side of caution so we do not find ourselves on a list of schools or districts that had to close after opening.
As we prepare for the in-person return of students beginning on November 16th, with the safety for all staff and students as our number one priority, I ask that you please understand that there will be some teachers who will be teaching their classes from home due to personal reasons that put them at a higher risk if they were to contract the virus. It goes without saying that those children will still be taught in the same stellar manner that they would if the teacher was in person. You will be hearing from your child’s individual school if that is the case and we thank you for your understanding. Nothing about our situation is ideal, but we will continue to do all we can for our community.
Lastly, as we continue to move forward, our next board meeting will be on November 12th and will be in-person. Due to the Governor’s latest executive order limiting indoor capacity to 25% of space capacity, no more than 80 members of the public will be able to attend in-person. To help manage this, please read the following:
Please note, the meeting will also be online and you can join prior to the start of the meeting by clicking on the following link https://www.sbschools.org/board_of_education/meetings/agendas__minutes_and_videos. Information on how to join the meeting will also be available on the South Brunswick School District website at www.sbschools.org on the banner.
We are asking that anyone planning to attend in-person please register online in advance so that we can make sure we are prepared for the size of the crowd. Anyone attending must wear a mask at all times and perform a pre-admittance self-evaluation, inclusive of a temperature check at the door. Anyone who does not comply will be turned away at the door.
We ask that you arrive 30 minutes prior to the start of the meeting.
The Board will accept public comments in-person and online.
Please click on the following link to register if you plan on attending in-person or would like to make a public comment whether in-person or online. November 12 BOE Registration Link
As we are about to begin this four day weekend, I ask again that you continue to remain vigilant and practice social distancing, wear masks and make smart decisions about how you gather and socialize along with following the self-quarantining guidelines if you are planning to travel.
Be well South Brunswick!
(Latest Published Results)
Yellow - Moderate
Number of cases (last 7 days) in South Brunswick
Number of school aged cases (last 7 days) in South Brunswick
SOUTH BRUNSWICK SCHOOL DISTRICT HAPPENINGS
Number of Students and Staff in Buildings (Daily Average)
Number of students/staff sent home during the day with symptoms
5 students/0 staff
Number of COVID confirmed cases reported to the schools
2 students/1 staff
(As a result of the proper protocols being followed, there was no contact with anyone in the schools.)
Athletics Reporting Over a 6 day period (HS & MS)
Athletics Reporting (Daily Average)
439 athletes/33 coaches (daily average)
Number of athletes/coaches sent home during the day with symptoms
1 athletes/ 0 coaches
(Fever prior to arriving on campus.)
Number of athletes not able to follow health and safety directions
(Did not complete screening form prior to arrival.)
STATE (most current reporting)
State Transmission Rate (most current reported)
Regional Positivity Rate (Central East)
Regional Case Rate (Central East)/100,000 residents
Statewide School Outbreaks/Middlesex County
(the State uses the term "outbreak" when a minimum of
two cases independent of each other are in a school)
28 statewide/1 outbreak/3 linked cases in Middlesex County
What guidance exists at this time:
- The CDC recently modified their definition of a close contact. New definition is now “A person who spent 15 minutes or more within a 24-hour period and was within 6 feet of a person who is infected with COVID-19. Exposure must happen while the infected person is infectious (2 days before onset to 10 days after)”
- Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Delaware meet the criteria for New Jersey's travel advisory. Non-essential travel to and from these states is highly discouraged.
- Resumption of indoor sports.
- Indoor dining allowed 25% capacity, Capacity limits still in place, Fall athletics in operation, all mask and social distancing requirements still in effect
- COVID Alert NJ is NJ's free and secure mobile app that anonymously alerts users if they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive.
- For information and considerations for events and gatherings for holiday celebrations and safety, follow the link to the CDC holiday page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/daily-life-coping/holidays.html
- Free Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinics - In order to help keep its residents safe and continue to practice social distancing, Middlesex County Office of Health Services will be offering drive-thru flu clinics beginning Wednesday, October 28th. This is a free service being offered to all Middlesex County residents ages 6 months and up that meet a set of criteria. To learn more about how to get your free Flu Shot, upcoming clinic dates, and tips on how to fight the flu this year, residents can visit: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/flu
Other local district progress with cases and quarantine
- Hackensack Public Schools operating remotely and will remain closed to in-person instruction until further notice due to the high positivity rate of infection in the city of Hackensack. All Athletics and extracurricular activities are also suspended until further notice.