School Action Related to Rising COVID Cases
As the number of active COVID cases within the community continue to rise, Lake County School District continues to monitor the instructional decisions of the district in collaboration with local public health. Local public health and the school district will use the state guidelines for operating schools to continue to inform decisions as to the instructional model we are applying.
The state level document can be found here:
This means, if the county moves to “Orange” or “Level 3”, the district can continue hybrid learning or can select to move to remote learning if the need arises. With support and guidance from public health, we are confident that we can safely continue our hybrid instruction for the time being. You can monitor the Lake County public health information and updates on their COVID page at https://www.lakecountyoem.org/covid-19.
Within the school district, as a result of our current practices, we have not seen a positive case spread to another individual solely as a result of an in-school contact. What we are seeing in the community is considered “general community spread,” where a positive person typically infects another individual at an average infection spread of 1.2. This means a positive person is typically spreading the virus to one or two people and typically the spread is to an individual they are around outside of the school day for a significant amount of time, typically within a family or social unit.
We believe that several practices have contributed to low or no spread and resulted in the reduction of quarantine/isolation of staff and students within the school environment:
- Families have been proactive in keeping kids home if symptoms exist. The support of families to err on the side of caution has prevented school closures in a few different scenarios as students were not present at school while probable or positive with COVID.
- Staff and students have continued to use social distancing practices that have resulted in less spread and closure. We have implemented strategies such as being 6 feet away from others as much as possible and increasing the physical distancing to 12 feet when together for times of 15-40 minutes.
- Schools are continuing to follow health protocols including: frequent handwashing, sanitizing, wearing masks, social distancing, symptom screeners, cohorting, etc.
We would like to reiterate that because families have kept their children home at the first signs of symptoms or feeling ill, we have been able to continue in-person school. In analyzing the impact, some of these cases would have resulted in our schools moving to red or remote learning if those students had been in the school environment. Because families were proactive, we did not have to do this. Thank you!
We also appreciate that students who have had symptoms at school, immediately quarantined, and got a COVID test soon thereafter which allowed us to keep our school open because they received negative results right away. In these situations, we did not have to follow the state guidance of “four days of symptoms with no test = presumed positive COVID case.” While we realize the testing is not always preferred, we appreciate your willingness to test and confirm the negative results, which allowed us to continue school and not require an action of quarantine for staff/students.
As we continue to plan forward, our district will be releasing a listening tour survey on Wednesday of this week. We would like to hear from the majority (if not all) of our parents/guardians and students as well as other stakeholders regarding the experience of school, quality of instruction, and balance of health and practice that we have been trying to accomplish. We recognize all of the impacts that the COVID pandemic has had on our approach to school and value your input. We appreciate you taking the time to complete the questionnaire as we set November as a time to reflect and plan forward for improving our plan for semester two.
Superintendent Massey will be participating in the Lake County Public Health Town Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 28th, at 6:00 pm. More information can be found at this link: https://wp.me/p4PQnj-5Ec
A link to the recording is here if you were unable to attend!
Again, we appreciate your patience, involvement and feedback as we all navigate through the impacts COVID has in so many ways.
Lake County School District