December 16, 2021
Dear Springfield Public Schools Community,
This letter is to inform you that 2 individuals at Jonathan Dayton High School and 1 individual at Florence M. Gaudineer Middle School were identified as positive Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. Due to privacy considerations, no additional information will be shared regarding these cases.
Any individuals identified as “close contacts,” have been notified and will follow the protocols for exclusion as set by the NJDOH guidance. “Close Contacts” are defined by the CDC as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.” In the context of the classroom, students may be asked to quarantine if they were less than 3 feet of distance and/or were inconsistent in their mask-wearing, as per guidance provided by The Road Forward: Health and Safety Guide developed by the NJDOE. We are continuing to coordinate with public health officials in order to assure the health and safety of our community.
We are thankful for the thoughtful parents that kept their students at home after being identified as a close contact, and for alerting the district as to their child’s status. If your student has been identified as a close contact, please reach out to the school principal and teacher so that they can ensure that you have the appropriate technology access for virtual learning. There is no question that the delta variant is in our community, and that we must be vigilant regarding contacts and symptoms, especially in the context of our students who are unable to be vaccinated.
While we are thankful that many of the adults in our community have been able to access the vaccine, ongoing concerns regarding the transmission of COVID continue to challenge our state and nation. It remains critical that individuals with symptoms (headaches, runny nose, sore throat, persistent cough, stomach upset, loss of taste and/or smell) reach out to a healthcare provider to access a COVID test, and refrain from returning to school until the results of the test are received.
We encourage parents and students to continue following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention layered protocols, including:
· Staying home when you are sick;
· Washing hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds;
· Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues;
· Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks and utensils;
· Practicing social distancing;
· Wearing a mask while in school; and
· Continuing to monitor your health for symptoms.
As always, we appreciate our community’s support and cooperation. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern. Should you have any questions about this situation, please feel free to contact your school principal and/or school nurse. Below are some resources that might be helpful.
1. NJDOH COVID-19 Guidance for Schools: https://www.state.nj.us/health/cd/documents/topics/NCOV/RecommendationsForLocalHealthDepts_K12Schools.pdf
2. Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html
3. Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html
4. Testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/index.html; https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing
5. How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
6. What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html
Superintendent of Schools