With public health authorities’ having shortened some quarantine times, PA has only two “active community cases” of COVID-19 as of today’s writing. Last week brought four new confirmed cases, sending one Lower School class to quarantine but otherwise having greatly reduced impact on the number of people sent home as close contacts. This lessened impact is due to our “In-School Hybrid” model in effect in Middle and Upper Schools since Thanksgiving break.
In consultation with Parent Association leadership, Mrs. Murphy, and administrative colleagues, and through conversations with various students, parents, and faculty members, we have determined to continue the “In-School Hybrid” model for at least the first two weeks of school following Christmas break. While we have not experienced a sustained “spike” in community cases after the last break, most PA students in grades 6 through 12 seem to appreciate the relative reassurance that they’re unlikely to be quarantined as close contacts. Fresh in their minds is that week just before Thanksgiving when five Upper Schoolers tested positive, sending so many kids home. It is not surprising that the rise in cases in the greater Metro area starting in November saw some rises here.
We’ll keep an eye on case levels and potential impacts as we assess when to return to “Plan A.”
Here are some updated “fast facts” about our experience to date with COVID-19 at PA:
- Now into the 16th week of school, we have had a total of 27 active community cases. Community members needing to quarantine at home as close contacts now total 381 (44 of which have come the past three weeks). The quarantines have ranged from 3 to 10 school days, averaging 5-7.
- We know of 9 community cases likely transmitted from an infected community member to a “close contact” at school or a school-related function. Put differently, it is likely that 2.3 percent of community “close contacts” have gotten the virus.
- Community members who have tested positive have reported symptoms ranging from being asymptomatic to having cold and flu-like symptoms of varying degrees of severity. There have been no hospitalizations among community cases and, so far as we know, no hospitalizations for COVID among PA households.