A Letter from Dr. April Grace, Oct. 30, 2020
October 30, 2020
Dear Shawnee Families,
I want to share with you our county health officials have made us aware of an isolated institutional spread that has significantly increased the county COVID-19 cases (more than 100) for the week. As I have reported to you before, each week I personally visit with our regional and county health officials. Our health officials have shared that they do not recommend changes to our learning plan at this time. They have taken into account our district’s numbers, general community spread numbers, and the impact of the isolated institutional spread on the county number of cases.
We have had no required contact tracing within our schools this week. However, we continue to experience a few number of positive cases in the district most weeks. Almost all positive cases we have seen are due to these individuals’ direct contact with another positive case in our community or their own family and not inside of our schools. These positive cases still lead to quarantines required for our students or staff as a result of contact tracing. Our health department oversees contact tracing and determines who must be quarantined and isolated and for how long. Because of HIPPA and privacy considerations, we will continue to only communicate with those who are identified by the health department as needing to quarantine. In other words, if you are not contacted about contact tracing, your student has not been identified as an exposure or direct contact with a positive case according to our health department’s guidelines.
As I said earlier, almost all of the positive cases we have seen are due to contact within our community and not within our schools. It is extremely important that at all times that you wear face coverings in public, keep social distance as much as possible, monitor you and your family’s temperature, wash your hands frequently, sanitize routinely, and stay home when you are not feeling well. With Halloween being this weekend and with flu cases on the rise, following safety measures like these are especially important. The CDC is now encouraging families to visit with their healthcare providers about flu vaccines. With your help, we can continue to keep our school buildings open and allow our students to have a school experience that is as close to normal as possible. Our students and staff are counting on all of us.
Thank you for all you have done this year which has allowed us to keep our schools open. Stay safe, and I hope you have great weekend.
April Grace, Ed.D.