Montgomery Schools Launch COVID Dashboard
Montgomery School District officials launched a COVID-19 dashboard on November 2, where community members may check the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases "that have had a direct impact" in the district's five schools.
As of November 3, the dashboard reported 15 cases of "individuals" who have tested positive for COVID-19 since the schools reopened on October 12. (The individuals are not identified as students, teachers, or support staff.)
Montgomery High School closed on Wednesday, October 28 when at least one "individual" tested positive for COVID, according to information posted on the Montgomery School District Website. The other four schools remained open for the week.
The high school closure was based on the number of teachers who had to participate in precautionary 14-day quarantines, according to Superintendent Mary E. McLoughlin. The Montgomery News attempted to contact the superintendent for more information for this article, but had to leave a message on her answering machine.
The high school is expected to reopen for hybrid learning on Monday, November 9. But that could change. (All Montgomery schools were closed on November 5 and 6 so that teachers could attend the New Jersey Education Association convention, which is normally held in Atlantic City, but this year it is a virtual event.)
While the school letter to parents reported just one positive COVID case in the high school, parents reported they had received multiple letters from the school indicating the following count: three MHS individuals; one Upper Middle School individual; one Lower Middle School individual; one Orchard Hill Elementary school individual; and one staff member (school not disclosed).
Confusion over how many students, teachers, and support staff have tested positive for COVID-19 prompted quick action from the district to address community concerns. The district had been emailing letters to parents each time an "individual" in the district tested positive.
The new dashboard is a step in the right direction. It turns out that, since hybrid schooling began on October 12, the district as had 15 total positive cases of COVID, with nine in the high school.
Article continues after ad from our sponsor.
Only students who subscribe to the hybrid-model of instruction have been attending school in person. Parents had the option in the beginning of the year to select an all-virtual or a hybrid model of instruction. Hybrid students spend about two-and-a-half days a week in school, and the rest of the time online.
If a member of a teacher's or student's household has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or has been exposed to someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is showing symptoms, the students should not attend school beginning as soon as the parent(s)/guardians become aware of the illness and exposure. All students in the home of an individual who is diagnosed with COVID-19 must quarantine based on the NJ Dept. of Health and CDC guidance listed below:
If the member of the student’s household or the student is symptomatic (sick; have COVID-19 symptoms), they should self-isolate until 1 full day (or 24 hours) have passed since they had a fever without the use of fever reducing medications AND other symptoms are improved AND at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first started.
If the household members are asymptomatic (not sick; have no COVID-19 symptoms), they should self-quarantine for 14 days AFTER any sick person’s self-isolation periods ends. However, if the individual diagnosed with COVID-19 can isolate in a separate location or bedroom, then the other household member’s quarantine should begin when they last had close contact (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) with the COVID-19 person. If the other household members develop symptoms, they should follow the self-isolation instructions above.
All persons in the house should consider getting tested.