We continue to put one foot in front of the other and things seem to be a little better each day. We continue to take daily precautions in school and at extracurricular activities and our strategies seem to be working. In addition, with our COVID precautions in place the numbers of students reporting traditional sickness in school such as flu, strep, etc. has gone down to almost zero. I guess as they say, every cloud has a silver lining.
The majority of the staff who elected to receive the vaccine will be getting their second shot on March 6. By the time we get to the end of March 78% of our staff will be fully vaccinated. Still no official word when vaccinations will be cleared for use by children, but by all reports it is looking like it will be in the fall.
Looking at our COVID numbers this week we are continuing in the right direction. Jones County Public Health reports that the 14-day positivity rate for Jones County has dropped to 3.5% this week. In Monticello, the 14-day positivity rate has also dropped to 2.5%. We have had two positive COVID cases in the last 7 days in Monticello. These numbers are even lower than last week and one would think the more vaccinated people we have the better they will be. A big thank you to Jones County Public Health! Jones county has been so organized and systematic with their vaccinations. Many other counties are not having the same experience.
Our updated school numbers for this week are as follows:
1. We currently have two students and no staff in isolation (these people have tested positive for COVID or are showing COVID symptoms) and approximately two students and one staff in quarantine (these people have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, not necessarily at school). That is less than 1% of our student body and less than 1% of our staff that is out for COVID-19 related reasons.
2. We still have several students participating in online learning. As of today, we have approximately 100 prek-12 students participating in full online learning or hybrid online learning. That is approximately 10% of our student body taking one or more online courses. The number of online learners has dropped again this week. If you are considering coming back to in-person learning, please contact your principal. Given the context of very low community and school spread, it would be a good time for your child to return to in-person learning if you are considering that option.
That is it for this week. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and please continue to be safe!!!
Dr. Brian Jaeger