As you know, our district has been back to school, five days a week since August 17. That’s right, Mount Airy City Schools has taken the road less traveled to bring students in grades PreK-12 back on campus to learn during a global pandemic. This tough decision was made because we knew that it is the right thing to do for students. We were confident that we could create health and wellness measures that would keep our staff members and students safe while providing the needed social and emotional support. The data is clear that students face many obstacles outside of school such as neglect, lack of food, lack of educational resources, mental health issues, and more. This is in stark contrast to the health and wellness issues of COVID facing students inside our buildings.
School has been the safest place for students this past fall. We know that students can easily catch COVID outside of school when precautions such as the 3Ws aren’t procedurally monitored. In school, the health and wellness measures have prevented the transmission of the virus in our buildings. Although HIPPA and FERPA prevent us from sharing active cases as they are happening, due to the size of our schools and district, we want to provide our community with a recap of the fall semester. We have had 60 cases of COVID from staff and students who have been in our buildings during the first 19 weeks of school. This calculates to about 3% of our overall populations or an average of 3 active cases each week. We have had zero clusters (5 or more related cases) in our buildings.
We are thankful to our staff for their work to make sure the protocols are followed each day including wearing masks, social distancing, cleaning surfaces, temperature checks, attestation forms, and other health and wellness protocols. We are excited that as early as next week some of our front-line workers, nurses, CNAs, and others (who will be administering the Antigen Rapid Test during the second semester) will be given the COVID vaccine. We will continue to work hard to serve our community and students and we thank you for your support as we navigate safely a return to second semester.