The Columbia School District attendance percentage last week averaged 9%, and was 8.8% on Friday, December 10, 2021, so according to the Board’s masking policy the requirement to wear masks will be lifted on Monday. While the absentee metric has been met, the COVID-19 risk in our area is still very high with 454 new cases in Jackson County this week. Please review the article from MLive (explaining that our local hospital is at capacity) and for the safety of all children, follow the recommendation to continue masking this week.
COVID has never been more prevalent in Jackson County than it is right now. We expect families to keep children home when they are exhibiting symptoms. Symptoms can include: Fever (>100.4 F), cough, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, runny or stuffy nose, loss of taste or smell, and/or abdominal pain. If you have symptoms, please contact your physician.
COVID-19 often is spread by those who are asymptomatic, not masked and are unaware that they have it. The American Academy of Pediatrics notes that masking becomes important and more effective than if there is no mitigation as discussed by this research reported by the CDC. Following the recommendations of the CDC allows us to take a more measured approach to quarantining, keeping kids in school! Individuals who are identified as a close contact may attend school while wearing a mask.
COVID-19 may produce mild or no symptoms in some, but may be deadly to others. Many in our community have been hospitalized with COVID-19 and many more have lost loved ones during the pandemic. Please be mindful of the dangers and keep our community safer and healthier during the current surge, especially while medical intervention is limited. This information is being shared with you in an effort of transparency as we navigate through these unprecedented times.
If you have any questions, please email: ReturnToLearn@myeagles.org .
Dr. Pamela Campbell and the Columbia School District Board of Education