This article has been updated with the correct totals of cases at each school as of Friday evening: 3 at Marshall, 2 at Montrose, 1 at Seth Boyden and 1 at SOMS.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District has reported seven cases of COVID-19 since schools reopened for hybrid learning on Tuesday.
Three cases were at Marshall Elementary School, two at Montrose Early Learning Center, and one each at Seth Boyden Elementary School and South Orange Middle school, according to the district’s COVID-19 dashboard.
According to the dashboard, the numbers “reflect positive cases of both virtual and in-person staff and students.” Village Green is following up with the district about how cases are reported and recorded.
Building principals are sending letters to parents/caregivers of students who have been in close contact with classmates who have been diagnosed, advising them to quarantine for 14 days.
A SOMS parent who received a letter from Principal Lynn Irby shared it with Village Green. “The District is coordinating closely with public health officials and following CDC, state, and local health department guidance in order to assure the health and safety of our community,” wrote Irby. She continued, “A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for 15 or more minutes during a 24-hour period. Although students and staff have been masked and socially distanced, the South Orange Department of Health is recommending this quarantine in an abundance of caution in consideration of the COVID-19 Activity Level Index (CALI) score, which is presently ‘high.’ Due to this exposure, your child will need to be kept home from school through February 3, 2021, with a return date for Cohort A on February 8th, 2021.”
The District’s Covid-19 Dashboard “will be updated weekly and will track and reflect positive cases of both virtual and in-person staff and students,” said district spokeswoman Anide Eustache.
- We are not currently reporting numbers of quarantined students or teachers as part of our dashboard.
- Quarantine time is 14 days, as recommended by the NJDOH, local DOH and informed by the CDC
12. What happens if a student or a teacher tests positive for COVID-19? Will the entire classroom have to quarantine and enroll in virtual school? What if multiple classrooms and students/staff are impacted?
A: Upon notification of a student or teacher testing positive for COVID-19, SOMSD coordinates with the local health department who will begin “contact tracing” and recommend quarantining (14 days) of the positive individual’s close contacts. The local health department also completes a thorough risk assessment. Based on this assessment, a determination will be made as to whether an entire classroom or multiple classrooms are required to quarantine. Students will have the opportunity to access virtual content during the quarantine period.
It is the responsibility of the individual who tests COVID-19 positive, or the parent of the student who tests COVID-19 positive to notify the principal who notifies the superintendent as well as their town’s health department.