Some Monroe County schools stay in-person despite high COVID-19 cases | #coronavirus | #kids. | #children | #schools

In the past week, the county added 2,279 cases of the coronavirus.

STROUDSBURG, Pa. — It’s been two days since students at Stroudsburg High School were brought back into the classroom after winter break, even as Monroe County reports a record number of COVID-19 cases during the highest level of the pandemic.

In the past week, the county added 2,279 cases, the most of the pandemic along with the county’s positivity rate at 32%, the highest in Pennsylvania.

“Omicron is a very different virus than the one we were dealing with a year ago, or even a few months ago. It is indeed more transmissible. It spreads easier from person to person 2, 3 some estimates say as high as four times more likely from person to person,” said Dr. Tim Friel, an infectious disease specialist at Lehigh Valley Health Network.

Even with the surge in positive COVID-19 rates in the county, local school district officials like those at Stroudsburg High School say they’re not implementing their full health and safety plan yet.

“Right now, we’re not there. But if we need to, we’re going to base it on data and the actuality, the actual numbers of what’s going on with positivity rates in our schools,” said Stroudsburg Area Superintendent Cosmas Curry.

In the East Stroudsburg Area School District, officials believe the high COVID-19 positivity rates aren’t necessarily translating to an increase in the school’s positive cases.

“We would consider going into a virtual instruction mode in a particular school if our infected population exceeded 5 percent of those present in that facility over the past two weeks. And presently, we’re not even at 10 percent of that required number,” said Eric Forsyth, the director of administrative services at East Stroudsburg Area school district.

Masks are mandatory for schools in the Stroudsburg Area School District. Students in the East Stroudsburg Area School District are encouraged to wear masks, but it’s optional.

Both school districts say there was no talk over winter break about not returning in person.

See news happening? Text our Newstip Hotline. 

Source link