Dear UCF Community,
I hope you had a nice long weekend! In addition to our normal COVID-19 metrics update - I will also share information regarding an update from the CDC.
Yesterday we met with Dr. Sulieman to discuss her weekly analysis of the COVID-19 metrics. See the latest report here. Important key takeaways include:
- Chester County positivity rates have seen a decrease from 7.4% to 6.2%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly decrease in incidence rate per 100,000 from 136.6 to 122.7;
- 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 75 cases (students and staff) this year with 17 over the past four weeks;
- We are still awaiting direction from the CCHD regarding vaccines for our staff - right now school staff in PA remain in priority group 1B. Though a cohort of our staff that fall in 1A have been or are getting vaccinated including our nurses, counselors, psychologists, and identified special education staff.
New CDC Guidance
On Friday, the CDC released an Operational Strategy for Schools through Phased Mitigation. We will provide a comprehensive review of this new guidance during our Community Conversation tomorrow evening. Here are a few highlights:
- At any level of community transmission, there are options for in-person instruction (either full or hybrid) for all schools that strictly use mitigation strategies;
- Students, teachers, and staff who are at high risk of severe illness or who live with people at high risk should be provided virtual options;
- Access to vaccination should not be considered a condition for reopening schools for in-person instruction;
- Even after teachers and staff are vaccinated, schools need to continue mitigation measures for the foreseeable future, including requiring masks in schools and physical distancing. K-12 in-person school attendance is not a primary driver of community transmission;
- K-12 schools should be the last settings to close after all other mitigation measures in the community have been employed, and the first to reopen when they can do so safely;
- Schools that are open for in-person instruction (either fully open or hybrid) may decide to remain open even at high (red) levels of community transmission;
- Decisions should be guided by information on school-specific factors such as mitigation strategies implemented, local needs, stakeholder input, the number of cases among students, teachers, and staff, and school experience.
Tomorrow evening we are hosting a virtual Community Conversation to discuss changes to our instructional model including what the near future may hold. I encourage you to join us tomorrow at 6:30 PM. Here is the link to register: REGISTER HERE
We will share our plans if the social distance guidance drops to three feet as well as our plans to get more students back into school when social distancing remains at six feet. The administrative team will walk you through the options available for both scenarios. There will also be an update on vaccine access for educators.
If you are unable to attend - the webinar will be recorded and shared with our community.