You probably have heard from the Governor or in the news this week that the vaccine is on the way. That is fantastic news for us all, however, it will definitely take time to filter into our community. It is definitely something to cheer for especially when the Governor announced that by June, “ALL who want a vaccine will have it.” In my mind I translate that to starting the 2021-2022 school year in August in a more normal way. I think we are all excited about that.
The other big news this week shared by the Governor, Center for Disease Control, Iowa Department of Public Health, and Jones County Public Health is related to quarantined individuals. In the past, individuals who were exposed to someone that tested positive for COVID would be quarantined for 14 days. That is still the “Gold Standard” however the time can be reduced to 10 days without a negative COVID test and no symptoms or 7 days with a negative COVID test (day 5 or later) and no symptoms. If your child has been exposed to a person that has tested positive for COVID you should contact the school nurse. They can walk you through the scenarios.
Until we get a little farther down the road with this vaccine please continue to wear a mask, social distance when possible, wash your hands, and use hand sanitizer. We have definitely improved our situation in the schools after the 10 days of online learning followed by the Thanksgiving Break. Things are trending in the right direction; however, the way things are in Monticello with a 29% 14-day positivity rate and the fact that 1 in 7 Monticello residents has or have had COVID up through today, means we are not out of the woods yet.
Our updated numbers for this week are as follows:
- We currently have approximately 5 students and 9 staff in isolation (these people are showing a variety of symptoms) and approximately 19 students and 5 staff in quarantine (these people have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, not necessarily at school). That is approximately 3% of our student body and approximately 7% of our staff that is out for COVID-19 related reasons. This number is down over the last three weeks.
- We still have many students participating in online learning. As of today, we have approximately 240 prek-12 students participating in full online learning or hybrid online learning. That is approximately 24% of our student body taking one or more online courses. This number has gone up slightly over the last three weeks.
That is it for this week. I hope you all have a great weekend and please be safe!!!
Dr. Brian Jaeger, Superintendent