Dear UCF Community,
This week I’ll be sharing the latest metrics released by Chester County as well as our plans as we move forward through the remainder of the school year. This topic was discussed during last night’s School Board work session and can be viewed here. Dr. Sulieman will join us at the School Board meeting on April 19th to give her next report. We continue to monitor transmission rates in Chester County and our community on a daily basis - we do this in order to keep everyone safe. Key takeaways from the metrics include:
- Chester County positivity rates decreased from 9.1% to 8.0%;
- Chester County has seen a weekly decrease in incidence rate per 100,000 from 186.3 to 166.1;
- The UCF community had a weekly increase from 32 to 41;
- UCF has seen 115 cases (students and staff) this year with 29 over the past four weeks;
- All staff who requested a vaccine have been vaccinated - over 90% of our staff have been fully vaccinated;
- The PA Department of Health announced that vaccines will be available to individuals age 16 and older beginning April 19.
This is our third week with numbers in the very high transmission rate. According to the Chester County Health Department (CCHD) - If the County’s Transmission Level changes to a lower or higher level for three (3) consecutive weeks, schools are encouraged to reassess their instructional model and adjust if necessary.
After careful review including consultation with the CCHD and medical advisors - we continue to feel our schools and classrooms are safe for students and staff. The totality of our mitigation efforts is significant and has allowed us to keep our doors open. We are closely monitoring the cases among our students, staff and in our community as a whole. Our school nurses are diligently conducting contact tracing in cooperation with the CCHD. We are still not seeing any linked transmission in our classrooms. In fact - this school year we have seen only one instance of a possible linked transmission that we believe can be traced back to a science lab.
So what are our next steps? What are our plans for the remainder of the school year? Last night the School Board held their monthly work session during which we presented our recommendation for moving forward (view presentation here). Based on feedback from our COVID-19 Task Force and review of the current COVID-19 metrics - we are recommending that we stay the course and maintain the current schedule and educational model at this time. Of course, if conditions worsen and the CCHD requires us to reevaluate remaining in-person, we will do so.
While we are remaining in the current in-person schedule - I do not want to completely close the door on Phase 2 - a full return to our regular schedule. While another change to the schedule may seem daunting - I believe returning to a more normal schedule before the school year ends will benefit us greatly as we prepare for the fall. I informed the School Board that we will continue to monitor the numbers, reevaluate our schedule and come to them with our next recommendation at the work session on May 10th.
We continue to plan and find solutions that work best for our students, staff and families. We are in the home stretch - but now is not the time to become complacent. As always, please monitor for symptoms and continue to practice all proper mitigation measures. Let’s finish the year strong and healthy!