Dear Midview Staff and Families,
This week we have seen our numbers remain pretty steady. We have received a few more quarantine notices, but we have luckily not had an increase in Covid positive cases. This really got me thinking about a few things I wanted to provide updates on to give a little more clarity and transparency to our direction moving forward.
Positive Covid Case:
We were notified today that a transportation staff member has been recently categorized as being in isolation due to testing positive for COVID-19. This staff member has not been to work since the beginning of the week as they had symptoms and were awaiting results. We are currently working with the LCPH to identify any potential contact cases, that is someone in close contact with the individual who tested positive. Once contact cases have been confirmed, calls or letters from the LCPH will be going out to families affected.
District Survey on Quarter 1 Communication:
If you remember, it is very important to us that we remain very open with our communication to our staff, parents, and community. We have compiled the data from the Quarter 1 Communication Survey and there is a link to a graphic with the results. Overall, we had 367 responses, with over 76% coming from families with students attending in-person, and we received:
- over 76% highly favorable responses (4 or 5) in communication efforts from teachers
- over 76% highly favorable responses (4 or 5) in communication efforts from principals
- over 86% highly favorable responses (4 or 5) in communication efforts from the district
Obviously the Governor has spoken multiple times this week in regard to the “third wave” Covid cases. Due to the rising case numbers across the entire state, he has reaffirmed the health orders on masks and gathering limits (10 people per gathering). He is especially concerned with college students returning to the area for semester breaks, as well as holiday travel and gatherings. I do not know at this time if he is going to be closing any establishments, but he has thrown restaurants, bars, and gyms on the list.
I know so many of us are tired of hearing it, but he has stressed the importance of “getting back to basics” with wearing masks, socially distancing at all times, frequent hand washing, and not holding parties at home. He believes that these activities are causing the rise in numbers and that while he doesn’t want to shut things down, he may have no choice in the future.
Lorain County Health Department:
The information I have from the health department is that numbers are rising across the county. Every district has experienced rising numbers and we are trying to stay on top of the daily changes with staffing. As far as our county color, we are not close to purple. Remember that purple is designated by numbers of hospitalized people and we are not close to our max load, but because of agreements in other counties and the potential for regular accidents, they are actively monitoring where we are with things.
I also received an update on a Covid vaccination. Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson are both very close with their vaccines. The research is being done now and which will be more effective for front-line workers and which will be better for mass vaccination. The major difference is how they are stored, as one is required to be frozen and the other can be refrigerated. Regardless though, our county is confident that the plans they have put in place since 2001 will allow them to vaccinate our entire county in a matter of weeks. We are still looking at a spring date, but they are confident that help is on the way.
Two types of COVID-19 tests are available in Lorain County, but only PCR tests determine whether or not you are a confirmed COVID-19 case.
Antigen tests are sometimes called “rapid” COVID-19 tests. The Ohio Department of Health
says that antigen tests are not reliable enough to determine positive COVID-19 cases. Instead, these tests are best used for screening purposes. If someone gets a positive antigen test, the next best step is to get a PCR test. Walk-In Urgent Care clinics in Lorain, Elyria, and Avon currently use antigen tests.
Thanksgiving Holiday Guidance Link:
District Direction for In-Person Learning:
We are continuing to move forward with our in-person learning as the holidays approach. I know that there are some districts in counties nearby that are moving to online learning. We are not choosing that as an option at this time. We still feel very comfortable with the protocols and procedures put in place and while we are trying to remind everyone to be safe, our health department is still convinced we are doing things the right way to protect staff and students.
With that being said, I know that there are also questions regarding “what-if” scenarios and what would happen if we were forced to close. As I have shared since July, our plan is flexible and fluid. We have asked our teachers to take on the additional work of instructing and assigning work through Google classrooms just for this instance and we have also developed plans for each grade level that clearly outline what teachers and students will do during instructional time if forced to go remote. I know that our Director of Education and principals are reviewing those plans now to make sure they are ready to go if needed.
The most important thing to remember at this point is that our percentages of cases are still very low. We have seen a spike in one building which has made things difficult, but we have been able to manage it and it has since subsided. This brings up an important detail to also remember. There could be individual buildings that close based upon numbers because of coverage issues. We are not held to a strict number, we are held to being able to appropriately cover our classes and buses. If we can do that, we will remain open. If we cannot, we may need to close an individual building for a two-week period to assist with allowing the quarantines to catch up, but that would only happen in a severe instance.
Transportation will be a different issue and a much more difficult task. However, if we do not have enough drivers, we will have to contact our families to either drive their children to school or understand that their students will be coming home at much different times. I cannot give definitive answers right now because it is based upon which route is affected, but we will communicate with our staff and families if this is something that has to be done.
As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions.
Have a great weekend! #WeAreMidview
All the best,