Critical Update Dec. 10th
Posted by Dr. Louis Moore on 12/10/2020
Dear Colleagues, Families and Students,
I am writing to provide an update on our status for the upcoming two weeks and share plans for January 2021. An on-going challenge since September has been to protect everyone’s health and safety while ensuring continuity in our instructional program. With this in mind, I am acutely aware that the recent shifts between “hybrid” and “full remote” have been difficult and I am hopeful that the course of action outlined below will avoid these pivots in the future.
First, based upon consultation with the Monmouth County Regional Health Commission, it has been determined that we can resume in-person “hybrid” instruction on Monday, December 14. All known positive cases and close contacts among staff and students have been identified and these individuals are following the appropriate exclusion protocols. I want to affirm the high value we place on in-person learning and our commitment to keeping school open as much as possible. However, we will need to shift to full-remote again if we experience school-based transmissions or if the state or county risk index shifts to the “red” or the highest risk category. (Everyone can consult the “COVID Dashboard” on our website to view the current number of cases at RBR and in our area.)
Second, to avoid transmissions after the upcoming holiday break, instruction will be shifted to “full remote” from January 4 to January 8 as a preventative measure. This will ensure we have the time to monitor and respond to a possible uptick in cases.
Third, to further reduce the risk of transmission and stabilize school operations, we also hope to make voluntary testing available on a weekly basis to all staff and students who are not ill or symptomatic starting on January 4. This action will compliment other efforts to expand testing in our community and give us the capacity to identify cases in asymptomatic individuals and help to reduce transmissions. Details on this initiative will be shared with you in another update. You can find information about current testing options on our COVID Dashboard.
In the meantime, we will continue to work with the MCRHC and use the Risk Assessment Matrix to guide our decisions. I want to extend my thanks to everyone for rapidly informing our school health office at extension #241 about positive cases or contact exposures. Please continue to do so. Here are the "Return to School Guidelines” that we have been utilizing.
As I mentioned earlier, better days are ahead. But I know we will continue to do our part to keep everyone safe, keep up with our work, and plan for the brighter times that await.