The Hopewell Valley Regional School District (HVRSD) has had a number of closures and notifications regarding positive COVID-19 cases in the past week.

On November 12, families were notified that Stony Brook Elementary School would be closed for the rest of the school week due to a student testing positive for COVID-19.  Thursday also brought notification that the District will be considering a new schedule for students.

On November 13,  a new COVID-19 case at the high school was announced and yesterday the District announced that a Timberlane staff member and a Bear Tavern Elementary School student had tested positive for COVID-19.  (Letters from HVRSD Superintendent Dr. Thomas Smith follow).

On his Facebook page, Governor Phil Murphy wrote today:
4,540 new positive cases
279,274 cumulative total cases
18 new confirmed deaths
14,765 total deaths.
These numbers are ALARMING and continue to rise. Take this seriously. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay safe. A second wave of COVID-19 is now here. As we begin the holiday season, plan accordingly and keep social distancing and safety in mind. We MUST redouble our efforts and crush the curve like we did last spring. Our lives literally depend on it.

There is no indication, however, that the Governor plans to close schools or add to the current restrictions on restaurants and other businesses at this time.

Following are the relevant passages of the the letters Superintendent Smith wrote regarding the two new HVRSD positive cases this weekend:

November 14, 2020 at 12:01:37 PM EST
Dear HVRSD Families: Earlier today, we informed TMS families of a positive COVID case at TMS. The last day the staff member was in school was Thursday, November 12 and we have started our contact tracing process to determine any in-school exposures.  TMS has a pre-planned Full Remote Learning day for all students on Monday, November 16, in which the building will be closed.  No students or staff will be allowed in the building until TMS is reopened on Tuesday, November 17, 2020.  The need for additional closure dates will be evaluated during the contact tracing process.  ALL OTHER HVRSD SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN OPEN (*CHS also has a pre-planned full remote day).

November 14, 2020 at 7:32:27 PM EST
Dear HVRSD Families: This evening we were informed that a full remote student at the Bear Tavern School has tested positive for COVID. We were also informed that contact tracing is complete and no close contacts with any in-person students or staff have been identified.

We are being overly cautious with this notification in an effort to make sure everyone is aware of the status of cases in our school community. The district will continue to take precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently-touched surfaces daily. 

Given the current increase in cases in New Jersey, please help protect all of us by monitoring your family members for symptoms and following the guidelines below:

  • Stay home when you are sick; 
  • Wash your hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds; 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues; 
  • Practice social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart) at all times – including bus stops and playgrounds; 
  • Wear a mask while on school property – including playgrounds after school;
  • Limit close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks and utensils; and 
  • Continue to monitor your health for symptoms. 

We appreciate your support and cooperation. You can assist us by remaining vigilant but sensible in your approach to dealing with this health concern. 


Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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