Blue Devil Families,
Our thoughts and well wishes are with the students, staff, and families that are currently being impacted by the significant rise in COVID-19 activity throughout our district. It is our hope that those not feeling well recover soon and close contacts/quarantined remain healthy in the coming week.
As of Friday, we are reporting 14 confirmed/probable cases, 177 quarantines, and 174 exposures (not requiring quarantine) in our student population throughout the district. Additionally, we have two staff members with probable cases and six quarantined, as well as 23 exposed as a close contact without need to quarantine.
Many of our quarantines and close contacts were related directly to individual positive or probable cases across the building and found through the contact tracing process. However, there are additional, unique circumstances that required large groups to be quarantined:
- A positive case within the boys basketball program required the quarantine of the freshman and JV basketball teams
- Multiple positive/probable cases within the third grade were reported. During contact tracing, interactions at lunch time/recess were unable to be isolated to certain students/classrooms, and therefore HCPH required the entire grade level to be quarantined.
- A probable case in a special needs classroom, where masks are not able to be worn, required quarantine of all students and staff within that room.
Late yesterday afternoon, I spoke with HCPH Commissioner Kesterman and a staff epidemiologist regarding our district situation. HCPH is monitoring the case counts and assisting with analyzing the current increase in activity. It was shared that the city of Reading and the zip code 45215 has seen pockets of increased cases in the previous couple of weeks, and therefore as a reflection of the local community status, our school district is seeing the same. In short, the outbreak is widespread, student illnesses and severity are on the rise, and quarantines/close contacts account for over 25% of our in-person student population.
Based on the data and recommendation/support from HCPH, Reading Community City Schools will continue in a remote learning model the week of February 1st, with the building remaining closed and all athletics/activities canceled until a planned return on February 8th. It will be necessary to continue contact tracing and adjust our timelines as needed based on any new information that becomes available. It is our hope that continuing to remain remote will allow us to monitor those that are quarantined/close contacts and decrease the spread of COVID-19 in our building.
All students and families are requested to monitor for COVID-19 symptoms, stay home if not feeling well, and contact the school and nurse if symptoms develop or your student(s) come into contact with an infected person. Your support and assistance with these measures are appreciated and will assist with our efforts to get back to school as soon as possible.
Breakfast and lunch packs will be distributed in the circle at the high school on Monday at noon for any families that need them. Please fill out this Google Form for meal pick-up.
Thank you for your understanding and cooperation during this difficult period. Please stay safe and stay healthy.
Reading Community City Schools