Yesterday, Governor Dewine announced that Madison County has moved to “red” on the Ohio Public Health Advisory System. In fact, Madison County has moved from yellow to orange to red in a matter of just a few weeks. Some of the reasons for this progression include a sustained rise in the number of cases in the general county population and subsequently more emergency department visits due to COVID19. It is understood that because of how the health advisory system works, once a county moves to “red,” it will stay “red” for a few weeks.
Madison County Public Health encourages residents to limit activities with other people outside of their household and those who are high risk should stay home if possible. Finally, everyone is encouraged to wear masks and social distance whenever around those not in their own household.
Our district restart plan takes into account a number of factors including the county health level but also real time, district data related to students and staff. The fact that our county has moved to a “red” advisory level is concerning. However, our specific district numbers are not currently following the same trend as our county. For example, during the week of September 8th, LCS reported zero positive cases of COVID19 and had 70 staff and students either quarantined or isolated district-wide (Due to health department orders, the district is forced to quarantine or isolate students or staff that exhibit one or more symptoms of COIVD19). A snapshot to start this week shows one individual, who remains isolated due to a positive case, and only 30 students and staff, who are currently quarantined or isolated. These quarantine and isolation numbers are at their lowest level since the beginning of September. To date, London has reported *four positive cases of COVID19 by students and staff (*MCPH required the district to report a probable case, which turned out to be negative).
Last week, I announced a district decision to bring all students back on campus, five days a week beginning on Monday, October 19th. The reasons for making this decision included our success in implementing the health department’s protective actions, the lack of person to person transmission within our schools, staffing levels remaining steady, and an opportunity to pilot in person instruction before the onset of cold and flu season. Although the county advisory level has increased, the data trend within the district continued to be low and the rationale previously listed for making educational decisions has not changed.
Based on the current district data, London will continue to plan to transition students in grades 6-12 to all day, everyday instruction on October 19th. Parents should continue to be aware that factors could change at any moment. If case numbers change significantly, the district may also need to change the amount of on campus instruction.
Our district continues to implement our protective actions and make common sense changes in order to improve safety. Earlier this week, families were provided an option to opt into our all virtual program instead of returning full time in person. A few families have taken advantage of this opportunity. I would encourage any other families interested to contact Mrs. Kylie Pritchard or Mrs. Carla Shaw as soon as possible.
As always, thank you for your continued support. We will continue to do our best to provide our students the best education in the safest possible way.