Dear Newmarket parents, students, teachers, and community members,
Newmarket Schools opened this fall under a plan based on a full return to “pre-pandemic normal”. Up to this point things have gone quite smoothly across the district. Buses, the cafeteria, recess, classrooms and after school activities are all running normally at this point. Unfortunately, at the end of last week we saw a small uptick in COVID cases in the district. It is also worth noting that health experts across the region and country are predicting a surge in COVID cases as we head into the winter months when people will be spending more time indoors.
As I explained in my August 19th newsletter, Newmarket schools are trying to shift the paradigm on how we manage COVID. As a system we are moving from an operational model driven by strict school policies and procedures to a model that promotes and depends on individual responsibility. For this model to work effectively it is essential that we all work together to prevent the spread of COVID in the community.
I am writing today to ask everyone in the Newmarket school community to please adhere to current CDC guidance about positive COVID cases and close contacts. Adhering to CDC guidance is our best way to keep schools fully open and functioning normally throughout the school year.
- Positive COVID: The CDC currently recommends that a person who tests positive for COVID should isolate for 5 days. If that person is fever free for 24 hours (off of all fever reducers) and having improved symptoms for 24 or more hours on day 6 they may return to school wearing a well-fitted mask through day 10.
- Close Contact: If a person is in close contact to a positive COVID case it is recommended that they immediately start wearing a well-fitted mask and begin self-monitoring for symptoms for 10 days.
- Close Contact Testing: If a person is a close contact to a positive case but doesn’t develop symptoms it is recommended to wait to test until day 6 for the most accurate results.
- Negative Result: Continue taking precautions through day 10. Wear a high-quality mask when around others at home and indoors in public.
*You can still develop COVID-19 up to 10 days after you have been exposed.
- Positive Result: Isolate Immediately
Below are links to the CDC website
I would like to close by offering thanks to our school nurses, Diane McCormick at NES and Jen Farnese at NJSHS, for their efforts to keep our school community healthy. I work closely with Diane and Jen to monitor community COVID numbers and to make sure we operate on the best health guidance available. Parents, students and staff are encouraged to work closely with our nurses to make sure we keep everyone safe and healthy.
If you have school related health questions, please reach out to the nurse in your building. If you have questions related to school operating procedures, please feel free to reach out to me or one of our building administrators.
Be well everyone,
Todd Allen, Newmarket Superintendent