Dear UCF Community,
This week I’ll be sharing our weekly COVID-19 metrics, an update to the travel guidance, and what we can expect looking ahead to a transition to full K-12, in-person instruction pending Board approval.
On Sunday, 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 remain at 5.6%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly decrease in incidence rate per 100,000 from 104.8 to 93.0;
- Projections indicate that Chester County will remain in the high transmission rate category for the next few weeks with the possibility of a shift to moderate over the next month;
- The UCF community had a slight increase from 21 to 22;
- UCF has seen 81 cases (students and staff) this year with 15 over the past four weeks;
- While there have been reports in the news regarding vaccines for educators in PA - we have nothing concrete to share with our community and staff at this time. We remain hopeful for progress on the vaccine front - and will continue to actively lobby for our staff and community for an equitable distribution of the vaccine.
As I mentioned in my last communication, the Chester County Health Department released new guidance allowing school districts to reduce the physical distancing requirement to less than 6 feet for students (no less than 3 feet). The CCHD will permit this after three consecutive weeks of a county community transmission rate of high, moderate, or low and in conjunction with continued layered mitigation measures. If numbers continue to decrease this week as expected - we will continue on a trajectory of bringing students back to school for in-person instruction on March 15.
We are actively planning and preparing for this full student return. On Monday, March 8 the Board will vote to approve this change to our instructional model. That recommendation will include:
- Phase 1 - Elementary schools will return to our regular full-day school schedule (except Wednesdays) beginning March 15, 2021. Wednesday half-days continue - all students attend in the AM.
- Phase 2 - Elementary schools will return to the regular full-day schedule on Wednesdays on a date to be determined.
- Phase 1 - Secondary schools will return for in-person instruction on March 15, 2021. They will keep the current school schedule including virtual Wednesdays for Patton Middle School.
- Phase 2 - Secondary schools will change to our regular full-day school schedule on a date to be determined.
New Travel Guidance
There has been a change to PA travel guidance. As of March 1, 2021 the Order of the Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health for Mitigation Relating To Travel is no longer in effect. A 14-day quarantine or negative test result upon returning to PA is no longer required. Travelers should still practice appropriate public health measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 such as masking, physical distancing, and hand hygiene. Anyone who travels internationally should follow CDC travel guidelines. With spring break just around the corner, I urge our staff and families who plan to travel to follow all proper mitigation measures.
This is a critical point in our school year. The numbers are currently in our favor to open for full K-12 in-person instruction on March 15. Now more than ever it is imperative that we keep following all mitigation measures - staying home when we do not feel well, wearing our masks, social distancing and proper hand hygiene. The remainder of the school year depends on us all doing our part to stay safe and healthy.