Dear UCF Community,
We continue to regularly monitor and evaluate COVID-19 transmission rates in our community and Chester County. While numbers nationally and globally are sobering - we see a glimmer of hope in our most recent numbers with a leveling in both cases and in projections.
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 11.3% to 11.7%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly increase in incidence rate per 100,000 from 335.4 to 360.7;
- UCF municipalities have seen a decrease in incidents from 66 to 49;
- Projected incidence rates per 100,000 - in the next month - show Chester County cases to remain around 350 (previous models showed numbers heading over 400);
- UCF has seen 37 cases (students and staff) this year with 18 over the past four weeks (view UCF Dashboard);
- In large part because we have not seen linked transmission in our schools and a leveling of cases and projections - 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.
A few important dates and topics that we should be aware of:
- Hybrid or virtual? - The question has been raised - should UCF move to total virtual mode the week of January 4 over fear of a spike in cases because of holiday gatherings and celebrations? - Should the data and science dictate that this move is warranted - we will do so. This has been a topic of discussion with our weekly meetings with Dr. Sulieman - at this point, the data suggests we continue in our current model. Should the COVID-19 transmission rates increase and/or we see linked transmission in our schools (we have not as of yet) we would consider a change.
- January 4 the Board will discuss our secondary hybrid model. At this point, we are recommending grades 6-12 return to hybrid on January 19.
- Athletics continues to be on pause. There are no in-person practices (voluntary or otherwise), scrimmages, or matches until January 4.
- There are discussions of rapid antigen tests being made available for schools. While in concept this is a promising program, the logistics and staffing to turn our schools into testing centers is massive. We are involved in the conversation and are committed to making certain that if we go in this direction - it is done safely and reliably - stay tuned for further information.
Thank you for your continued flexibility and help to keep our schools and community safe. Have a great week - Winter Break is almost here!