I am sending you this message to give you a quick COVID update. As of Wednesday this week it looks like Jones County has a 10% positivity rate for the last 7 days. During that time 31 people in Jones County have tested positive and 8 of those have been under 18. In our district we have had 9 positive cases of COVID (staff and students) and will continue to send out letters from each building when there is an exposure. In addition to that, there are 22 cases (staff and students) with COVID related symptoms and some of those are waiting for testing results. There are also other illnesses going around at this time and as you know, most other illnesses can also look like COVID. In the next few weeks we will continue to monitor the county statistics and our school statistics. In the upcoming weeks we should learn more about how the COVID variant is spreading related to our schools. As always, we will continue to do the best we can to create a safe learning environment for all.
These are the facts after the first two weeks. It has also become very obvious that being vaccinated reduces the risk of getting COVID or at least it can reduce the severity of the symptoms. So if you are not vaccinated, please have a conversation with your health care provider to consider this option.
Finally, I wanted to share some information to clear up some questions we are receiving. If your child is sent home with COVID related symptoms they can come back to school when they are symptom free and have sat out the 10 days or they have a negative COVID test or they have a note from the doctor with an alternative diagnosis. If they take a COVID test, the test should be from a health care provider and not a home testing kit. The results from a home testing kit will not be accepted as proof that a student is COVID negative.
I hope this information gives you a sense of where we are at with COVID in our schools and clears up any questions you may have about symptoms or testing.
Have a great weekend!!!
Dr. Brian Jaeger