Students, staff and parents are being implored by school officials to practice health safety while embarking on spring break late this month and early next month.
A letter asking for caution was signed by Allegan County Schools Supts. James Antoine of Allegan; William Brown, AAESA; Jim Greydanus, Fennville; Brian Scieszka, Glenn; David Tebo, Hamilton; GartyWood, Hopkins; Brooke Ballee-Stone, Martin; Jeff Haase, Otsego; Matthew Montage, Plainwell; Tim Travis, Saugatuck, Dr. Christina Hinds, Wayland, and Angelique Joynes County Health Officer.
The move comes in the wake of recent news of an troubling uptick in number of Covid-19 cases, particularly in younger people.
The letter reads as follows:
“As we head into Spring, we would like to thank you again for your persistence in doing whatever it takes to support a healthy learning environment for our students and staff. The challenges of the past year have affected each family in different ways, and we are certain you are looking forward to a return to normalcy in the coming months.
“We are very proud of our staff who have given their best to keep learning alive, in-person and remotely, under the most trying circumstances. Regional COVID-19 data until recently, the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Allegan County has declined since the beginning of the new year. The current seven-day average of new cases in Allegan County is 21 new cases per day. Positivity rates are rising slightly and are currently between 5% and 6% indicating continued spread in our community.
“State and local health departments are closely tracking the more contagious B.1.1.7 variant that is beginning to spread more rapidly in the state and around the country. The number of positive cases of school aged children in Allegan County remains relatively low and stable. Fortunately, hospitalizations and COVID patients in intensive care remain very low in our country. The number of positive cases of school aged children in Allegan County remains relatively low and stable. Fortunately, hospitalizations and COVID patients in intensive care remain very low in our region.
“For spring break travel, please continue to follow the effective mitigation strategies that we have had in place since the beginning of the school year if you travel over spring break. Masking, social distancing, and hand washing continue to be our best safeguards against the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and community.
“All air passengers coming to the United States, including U.S. citizens returning from a trip, are required to have a negative COVID-19 test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before they board a flight to the United States. Please quarantine your children upon return from spring break if they are symptomatic or are a close contact to a known positive case of COVID-19.
“Parents are encouraged to report any positive student cases or close contacts to a known positive case during spring break to their building principal or COVID-19 liaison. We are all looking forward to a fantastic finish to the 2020-21 school year.”