Dear UCF Community,
While many of us are enjoying the welcomed distractions that the holiday season brings - coupled with a snowstorm in the forecast - this note is focused on COVID-19 and what current transmission rates mean for our schools.
Over the weekend we met with Dr. Sulieman to review her weekly analysis of the COVID-19 metrics. Click here to see the most recent report. Important key takeaways include:
- Chester County positivity rates increased from 10.2% to 11.4%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly increase in incidence rate per 100,000 from 283.5 to 332.2;
- UCF municipalities have seen an increase in incidents from 51 to 70;
- Projected incidence rates per 100,000 - in the next month - show Chester County cases to rise above 400;
- UCF has seen 34 cases (students and staff) this year with 28 since November 1 (view UCF Dashboard);
- In large part because we have not seen linked transmission in our schools - Dr. Sulieman supports our elementary program continuing in hybrid;
- Vaccine implementation will be incredibly important in the coming months for the overall outlook of this pandemic.
Last week, we experienced our first school closure in accordance with the PA Department of Health mandates. Hillendale Elementary had three positive COVID-19 cases, and while these cases were not linked - the PA Department of Health mandates that schools the size of Hillendale with two to four positive cases during a 14-day period must close for deep cleaning, and to conduct contact tracing. We were pleased to welcome Hillendale students back today - and acknowledge the possibility that as the positive case rates continue to increase in our community - the need to close other schools temporarily is very possible.
With just a week and a half until we reach our much anticipated - and well-deserved - winter break it wouldn’t be 2020 without one more curveball. We are following forecasts closely and it looks like there is the potential for some inclement weather that could impact our area later this week. We will inform families of our plans for any early dismissal (possibly Wednesday) or snow day (possibly Thursday and maybe Friday) tomorrow morning. Remember, snow days are now FIDs (flexible instruction days) and count as a day of instruction.
I appreciate your continued support and flexibility as we navigate these final weeks of 2020 together.