Positive COVID-19 case at CHS sends high schoolers home until Monday

In a letter to parents, today, Hopewell Valley Regional School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Smith announced that someone has tested positive for COVID-19 at the high school and that the District is taking precautions to protect students and staff.

The letter reads in its entirety:

“Earlier today, principal Riley informed you of a positive COVID case at Central High School.  Based on our initial discussions with the Department of Health, we believe this case is limited to only Central High School. 

Following our District protocols, Central High School will transition to Full Remote Learning for all students on Thursday and Friday, September 17 and 18.  All after-school activities are cancelled during this time. No students or staff will be allowed in the building until Monday morning, September 21, 2020. ALL OTHER HVRSD SCHOOLS WILL REMAIN OPEN.

This will provide ample time for our staff to deep clean the building and the Department of Health to conduct contact tracing.  If your child has been exposed (within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes) you will be contacted by the Department of Health. 

Cleaning and disinfecting of all exposed areas will be completed in the next 24 hours. The district is also taking precautions to prevent the introduction and spread of viruses and other germs and is cleaning frequently-touched surfaces daily. The status of this situation is fluid, and we are monitoring it closely. Please monitor your own symptoms and follow the guidelines below.

We understand the level of concern regarding COVID-19. We encourage everyone to continue following the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention promoted safeguards, such as: 

• Staying home when you are sick; 
• Washing hands often with soap for at least 20 seconds; 
• Covering coughs and sneezes and properly disposing of tissues; 
• Limiting close contact with people who are sick and not sharing food, drinks and utensils;
• Practicing social distancing (staying at least 6 feet apart); 
• Wearing a face covering while in school; and 
• Continuing 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. Should you have any questions about this situation, please feel free to contact our local Department of Health at 908-359-8211 x235 (Pennington and Hopewell Boroughs) or 609-737-0120 (Hopewell Township).

“Below are some resources that might be helpful. 

RESOURCES 

a. NJDOH COVID-19 Information for Communities and the General Public: https://www.nj.gov/health/cd/topics/covid2019_community.shtml 
b. Get the Facts about Coronavirus: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html 
c. Symptoms of COVID-19: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptomstesting/symptoms.html 
d. Testing: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/testing/index.html; https://covid19.nj.gov/pages/testing 
e. How to Protect Yourself: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-gettingsick/prevention.html 
f. What to Do if You Are Sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/stepswhen-sick.html 

Sincerely,

Thomas A. Smith, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools
thomassmith@hvrsd.org

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