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Covid Update November 4th, 2020

 

November 4, 2020

Parents and Community,

Today 29 public and private schools met with Three Rivers Public Health Department and Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department to discuss schools’ protocols that follow the Risk Dial.

The Risk Dial, used by Three Rivers and Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Departments, uses eight data points on a three week rolling average. The Risk Dial is broken into four colors associated with the level of risk. The Low (Green) level of risk is 0-0.5, the Moderate (Yellow) level of risk is 0.5-2, the High (Orange) level of risk is 2-3.5 and the Severe (Red) level of risk is 3.5-4.

Each of these 29 public and private schools have created their own protocols associated with the level of risk identified weekly by the dial. Until this point, schools have had plans to transition from in class learning to a hybrid or fully remote model in the Orange and Red levels. Today, in accordance with guidance from Three Rivers and Elkhorn Logan Valley Health Departments, schools are announcing they will plan to keep students in class as much and for as long as possible. “We have learned a lot in the past three months and because of the terrific work our schools are doing have found that keeping students in school is the safest place for them to be.  School staff and students are wearing masks, social distancing and sanitizing on a frequent basis.  Because of all of these efforts we have found very little transmission of COVID-19 among students and staff members within our schools.” stated Terra Uhing, Executive Director of Three Rivers Public Health Department. 

“The Risk Dial serves as a visual data review tool within each county to provide an insight into the spread of the virus,” stated Gina Uhing, Health Director for Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department.  “For school districts, the number of cases within a school building or classroom serves as an indicator for how well the protocols in place are working and if adjustments are needed within the school environment.”  To date, schools that have had to temporarily move to virtual learning were closely related to the ability to find substitutes while individuals were required to quarantine.

Areas that were discussed include:

  1. Academics

  2. Lunch/Breakfast - Social Distancing

  3. Transportation - Social Distancing

  4. Visitors to School

    1. TeamMates

    2. Colleges / Armed Services

    3. Parents

  5. Athletics

  6. Fine/Performing Arts Concerts / Productions

  7. Elementary Music Concerts

  8. School Support Organizations Meetings

    1. Booster Clubs

    2. PTA’s

    3. Public School Foundation

  9. Outside Group Use

  10. Youth Feeder Programs

    1. Practices

    2. Tournaments

In all of the areas above, Lyons-Decatur Northeast’s Safe Return to School Plan is being adjusted to reflect the guidance provided by the Public Health Officials today.  We will continue to follow our current protocols with additional safety precautions as the risk level increases. In addition, we will continue to work closely with the health department to determine if a change in operational status is necessary within our school. All protocols will be based on direction and guidance from Elkhorn Logan Valley Public Health Department and/or the ability to find substitutes when our staff are required to quarantine.  Lyons-Decatur must also adhere to all Directed Health Measures from the State.

It is the goal of all of the entities that met today to provide a safe learning environment for our students, staff and community.  These are challenging times.  We have learned that in order to keep our students and staff safe while minimizing community spread, wearing masks, social distancing and keeping them in school is a huge step in this endeavor. 

Thank you,

 

Fred Hansen, Superintendent

 

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