Tuesday, October 27, 2020

OSD Superintendent Says Quarantining Is Not Popular, But It’s Necessary

Parents of Oxford students are receiving emails this week to decide whether they want to continue with online learning for the second nine weeks of school or send their children back to school.

While cases of COVID-19 in Oxford have slowed down, many parents are still opting to keep their children at home.

Since school started, 225 students went from online learning to face-to-face instruction and less than 10 students went from in-person to online instruction.

According to a COVID-19 report that was presented Monday during the Oxford School District Board of Trustee meeting, eight teachers and 28 students in the district have tested positive for the virus since school started. Since Aug. 24, 33 teachers and 288 students have been put on quarantine.

Superintendent Brian Harvey said no student who was sent home to quarantine after being exposed wound up testing positive.

When a student has been exposed, whether it was a fellow student who tested positive or a teacher, the OSD notifies the parents why and how the child was exposed.

“We notify parents of children who are directly impacted by positive cases. We have three different types of communication that go out to parents,” said OSD communications director Heather Lenard.

Those types of communications are:

  • Notification of close contact (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes, requires quarantine)
  • Notification of exposure (within the classroom not requiring quarantine, but close monitoring of symptoms)
  • Notification of outbreak (defined as three or more positive cases of COVID-19 within a 14-day period in a classroom or sports team).

“We are not out of this,” said Superintendent Brian Harvey. “It’s not over and won’t be for some time. I know some people don’t like the 14-day quarantine, but we are following the rules because those rules are the reason we’ve been able to maintain school.”

Harvey also said that athletic events could be canceled at any time if there is an outbreak.

“We had to cancel a cross-country meet recently because of an outbreak,” he said. “It will likely happen before football season is over. But we are following protocols. We need (the public) to know, we are making the best decisions we can with the data and information we have.”