Question: Why isn't the cohort closed if there is a positive case?
We start from the premise of the shared goal of wanting to keep everyone safe, and in school. We use the factors explained above, and then apply them to the advisory of the New Jersey Department of Health, which is pictured below. While we realize that we are living in a time of risk and fear, there is nuance when we apply the real science of exposure. We would not ever risk the health of our EMS community just to remain "open". Safety and School are equally weighted in our decisions, and we try to err on the side of caution. EMS has the additional benefit of our three tracks, which allow families to choose to have their child Flex, as long as their Division Head agrees.
|1 confirmed case in the school||School remains open*; students and staff in close contact with positive case are excluded from school for 14 days.|
|2 or more cases in the same classroom (outbreak limited to one cohort)||School remains open*; students and staff in close contact with positive case are excluded from school for 14 days. Recommendations for whether the entire classroom would be considered exposed will be based on public health investigation.|
|2 or more cases within 14 days, but are linked to an exposure outside the school setting (e.g. in same household, exposed at the same event outside of school)||School remains open*; students and staff in close contact with positive cases are excluded from school for 14 days.|
|2 or more cases within 14 days, linked together by some activity in school, but who are in different classrooms (outbreak involving multiple cohorts)||Recommendations for whether school closure is indicated will be based on investigation by local health department.|
|A significant community outbreak is occurring or has recently occurred (e.g., large event or large local employer) and is impacting multiple staff, students, and families served by the school community||Consider closing school for 14 days, based on investigation by local health department.|
|2 or more cases are identified within 14 days that occur across multiple classrooms and a clear connection between cases cannot be easily identified (outbreak involving multiple cohorts)||Close school for 14 days.|
|Very high risk of community transmission (refer to COVID-19 Regional Risk Level Matrix)||
Close school until COVID-19 transmission decreases.