November 9, 2020
Dear Tapestry Families & Staff,
I’m writing this morning with a few new updates regarding our reopening and COVID-19.
NYS Cluster Action Initiative:
New York State covers a large geographical area with different regions experiencing different levels of COVID-19 spread. Within the past month, New York State began looking at statewide testing data for outbreaks of new COVID-19 cases within a limited and definable geographic area they call “micro-clusters.”
As the COVID-19 rates in Erie County continue to rise, I feel it is important for you to have a basic understanding of micro-clusters and how a designation could impact us. First, it is important to know that a defined region may be placed into one of three focus zones:
- Red (Micro-Cluster) Zone: A geographic area that has a 7-day rolling average positivity above 4% for 10 days AND has 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on 7-day average.
- Orange (Warning) Zone: A geographic area has 7-day rolling average positivity above 3% for 10 days AND has 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on 7-day average.
- Yellow (Precautionary) Zone: A geographic area has 7-day rolling average positivity above 2.5% for 10 days AND has 10 or more new daily cases per 100,000 residents on 7-day average.
However, it is important to note that a defined area could also be designated as a focus zone (Orange or Yellow) simply because it is adjacent to a Red or Orange zone and the state needs to closely monitor the neighboring area(s) to contain the spread.
A focus zone designation would have an impact on school operations in the following ways:
- Red & Orange Zones: Schools would be required to shift to 100% virtual learning for at least 5 days. Schools may choose to re-open, BUT all students, faculty, and staff must provide a negative COVID-19 test. In addition, 25% of the school will be required to be tested weekly – each time with new/unique volunteers.
- If the 25% random sampling generates 9 or more positive cases, of one such discrete sample, then the school will be required to shift to 100% virtual learning.
- Yellow Zone: Schools could choose to go 100% virtual OR could continue to remain open IF they can conduct a mandatory weekly testing of 20% of their in-person students and teachers/staff.
A new zone designation will occur when the State Department of Health (DOH), in consultation with the local department of health, finds that the metrics, epidemiological considerations and/or other relevant factors deem a new zone designation appropriate. New York is implementing this new aggressive strategy to prevent broader viral transmission that would result in widespread economic shutdowns. This content is purely informational at this point. If we are notified that we are in one of these zones, we will reach out with further information at that time.
One of the contributing factors to the recent uptick in COVID-19 spread, according to the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH), is out of state travel. If you travel outside of NYS please contact your building principal prior to sending your child back to school so an appropriate return to school date can be determined. Also, prior to traveling out of state please consult the governor’s most recent guidelines found here.
For your reference, I have included the most recent update from the ECDOH below:
The number of COVID-19 cases is increasing in Erie County. The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) has noted that individuals with a recent travel history, including many related to youth sports activities, are among those new cases. These positive COVID-19 individuals are placed in isolation, and as a precaution their close contacts and classmates are also placed under quarantine. This is disruptive to student learning, to parents, and to school operations. This week several schools were forced to move to remote-only learning due to COVID cases in their schools.
Please continue to monitor your child’s health for symptoms of COVID-19 and follow our “Decision Making Protocol for Student Attendance”. If your child or a family member begins experiencing any COVID-19 like symptoms, or you believe they may have come in contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19, please keep them home and contact your healthcare provider.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.
We are crew.