Dear Community Members:
We need your help.
We had 30 total new cases come in today and yesterday. For reference, before January 3, 2022 we have never had 30 active cases at one time. Our school nurse and the rep from the Health Department simply cannot keep up with all of the contact tracing and parent notifications. We have to be able to effectively operate the district, and high levels of student and staff absences coupled with all of the tracing are significantly impacting our ability to do so.
So how can you help us?
1. While we have seen some spread in areas like our sport’s teams, most of the cases are linked to exposure in the home. One of the things we have noticed is that students are testing negative on day one when parents find a case in the house. However, 2-3 days later, the symptoms hit and the student has Covid. The current guidelines say that a vaccinated student who is a contact may continue to attend if they are masked and asymptomatic. However, we are seeing with increasing frequency that by days 2-3 they become positive as well.
We are asking parents to consider keeping students exposed in the home, at home where they can monitor symptoms for a couple of days. That is the timeframe where symptoms typically emerge. This includes vaccinated students and those that have had Covid in the last 90 days. We recently had our first student who has tested positive twice within 90 days.
We know this is a big ask, but not only will this help keep cases out of the schools, but will help with contact tracing.
2. Masks have been optional all year long. We want to continue to keep them optional.
We are, however, asking you to consider sending a mask to school with your student for the remainder of the week. It will help us with tracing, and hopefully contribute to the reduction in spread. We do have some good masks here for MS and HS kids if you are interested, but not in the smaller sizes.
3. We have three days remaining this week, then we have a four-day long weekend. This may be a good weekend to have some family bonding time! Anything we can do to reduce the mixing of students will help limit the spread. I am sure there are indoor tournaments, birthday parties, etc. but if there is a chance to limit things in any way, it might be a good idea.
4. One more note on vaccinations. The latest guidance states that the Pfizer vaccine is out of date 5 months after you complete the two dose series. Students will be considered “out of date” for contact tracing purposes after 5 months. Moderna is still 6 months.
This is going to continue to spread. We are asking for your help to try and take steps to help limit things and lessen the impact on our schools.
Eastwood has always excelled when we need to pull together. The next couple of weeks are going to be a challenge, and we need you. We will continue to monitor cases and student absences and keep you informed.
Brent Welker, Superintendent
Eastwood Local Schools
120 E. College St.
PO Box 837
Pemberville, Ohio 43450
"Leaders create Culture, Culture drives Behavior, Behavior produces Results." - Tim Kight