You probably have heard that the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Jones County has gone through the roof. That is a fact. The 14-day positivity rate for Jones County is at 39.7%. In Monticello the 14-day positivity rate is at 19.8%. Most of the higher Jones County numbers are related to the prison and care centers, however, even without those facilities being factored in, our numbers are very high.
In the school, we currently have about 10% of our staff members out with a positive COVID test or in quarantine due to an exposure. We have about 13% of our students out with a positive COVID test or in quarantine due to an exposure. We are watching these numbers very close because under the current conditions in Jones County these numbers could spike up very fast. Governor Kim Reynolds spoke yesterday and her message was that the Iowa numbers are the worst they have ever been since this began in March. She said people need to make a choice to wear a mask, wash hands, social distance, avoid large group gatherings, and even get the flu shot. She indicated that the next three weeks will be critical for Iowa.
I want school to be open, but if the numbers in Monticello get worse, that may not be an option. I am not trying to sound an alarm, or overreact, but I am trying to paint a realistic picture of our situation. The way we all behave outside of school will affect if we continue to have school. So please make good decisions for yourself and your family. I do agree with the Governor that the next three weeks are critical, especially in Jones County.
Our updated numbers for this week are as follows:
1. We currently have approximately 37 people in isolation (these students are showing a variety of symptoms) and approximately 91 people in quarantine (these students have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, not necessarily at school). That is about 13% of our student body that is out for COVID-19 related reasons. This number is higher from last week.
2. We still have many students participating in online learning. As of today, we have approximately 224 prek-12 students participating in full online learning or hybrid online learning. That is approximately 22% of our student body taking one or more online courses. This number has stayed steady this week.
That is it for this week. Have a wonderful weekend!!! And please be safe.
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent