Dear UCF Community,
While it has been nice to be distracted by the mundane matters of snowstorms, school closings, and delays - I am happy to say goodbye to Winter Storm Orlena! We transition to COVID-19 and what that means for our schools and community.
Over the weekend, we met with Dr. Sulieman who presented her weekly analysis of the COVID-19 metrics. Click here to see the report. Important key takeaways include:
- Chester County positivity rates have decreased from 8.4% to 7.0%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly decrease in incidence rate per 100,000 from 208.4 to 159.8;
- Projected incidence rates per 100,000 - in the next month - show a steady decline in Chester County cases with the potential of moving from substantial to moderate in the next week or two;
- The UCF community had a decrease from 37 to 26;
- UCF has seen 65 cases (students and staff) this year with 24 over the past four weeks;
- Schools should consider resuming in-person instruction for targeted student populations (i.e., students with disabilities, English Learners, etc.);
- We are still awaiting direction from the CCHD regarding vaccines for our staff - right now they remain in priority group 1B.
On January 28, 2021, PDE announced a change in the protocol to reopen schools after a COVID-19 outbreak. This change has been issued by the PA Department of Health.
Schools within a county or municipal health department (CMHD) jurisdiction should work with their local health department when responding to cases of COVID-19 in a school setting, to determine whether they have capacity to complete necessary case investigation and contact tracing in a shorter timeframe.
This means that we will no longer follow the attestation we signed back in November - moving forward - any school closures due to positive cases will be determined by the Chester County Health Department and decisions to close will be based on evidence of linked transmission as identified through contact tracing as opposed to a total number of unrelated cases. This is a significant and welcomed change in our efforts to keep our schools safely open.
We continue to wait on guidance from the CCHD regarding vaccinations for our staff. Please continue to help us advocate by contacting your local legislators requesting that the vaccine be prioritized for Chester County and our educators now! Click here for more information and helpful resources to assist you in this effort.
There is a lot happening. The new metrics and guidance are encouraging. We remain steadfast and optimistic as we continue to watch the numbers and plan for the possibility of more in-person instruction - hopefully in the near future!
Thank you for your continued support.