I hope each of our families was able to enjoy a break from school routines this past week and is ready for a strong finish to the school year.
Unfortunately, steadily increasing COVID-19 case numbers and positivity rates across our state and county continue to affect every facet of teaching, learning and school activities. Our faculty, staff and administration are committed to continue providing excellent in-person learning and support services while providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students and staff. If necessary, the decision to shift to remote learning will be made in consultation with the Allegan County Health Department based on the number of school associated positive cases, the number of quarantined students, and the presence of community spread within a school building.
As we resume in-person instruction on April 12th, it is very important that students with COVID-19 symptoms including fever, sore throat, uncontrolled cough, diarrhea, vomiting or severe headache stay home from school until they are symptom free. Students who are known close contacts to a positive case should quarantine and get tested prior to returning to school. Due to increasing case rates and variant spread in Michigan, MDHHS has reinstated a standard 14-day quarantine for close contacts of COVID-19 cases effective April 5, 2021.
We will continue to implement the mitigation strategies that have been in place since the beginning of the school year. Masking, social distancing, classroom pods, learning hubs, hard surface and frequently touched surface disinfection and frequent handwashing have proven to be effective strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our schools.
On Sunday, April 11th our athletic department, in partnership with trainers from Holland Hospital will begin weekly antigen testing of our spring student-athletes ages 13-19 as required by the MDHHS. Make up testing will occur on Monday, April 12th before school. We will be testing approximately 35% of our middle and high school students each week to mitigate community spread within our teams and in our classrooms.
The Ottawa County Health Department will be hosting five free pop up rapid testing clinics. These clinics are open to both adults and children. The first clinic is today from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the health department.
As always, please contact health department liaison Jasen Rademacher at 269-857-1444 or send an email to email@example.com to report any positive student cases or close contacts to a known positive case.
We’ve come a long way this school year. Thanks for working together to keep our schools open until we reach the finish line.