Dear Northville Public Schools’ Families and Staff,
As you may be aware, there has been a significant increase in the number of COVID cases in our community and across Michigan in the past several weeks. Citing the increasing case rates and variant spread in Michigan, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has reinstated a standard 14-day quarantine for close contacts of COVID-19 cases effective immediately.
MDHHS has also updated their COVID-19 Public Health Frequently Asked Questions as of 4/5/21, including information on access to vaccines for individuals ages 16 and up, along with guidance on quarantine requirements for individuals who are considered fully vaccinated. In most cases, fully vaccinated persons who received the final dose of a vaccine at least two weeks prior to exposure to someone with COVID-19 are no longer required to quarantine. Our NPS COVID Response Team will continue to work quickly on identifying positive cases and applying quarantines where appropriate, consistent with the health department directive.
In the first few days following Spring Break, NPS has reported 52 positive COVID cases and 170 current quarantines. While this remains a concerning number of cases within a 2-day period, the good news is that none of the individuals identified as having COVID-19 came to school and, thus far, none of the quarantines are the result of close contacts at school. This positive news does not happen on its own. The protocols in place in each of our schools are working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at school, and families are being mindful of keeping students home when they aren’t feeling well and/or may have had contact with a symptomatic person. Our COVID Response Team spoke with many families over the last three days who made the choice to get tested, quarantine when symptoms were present, and/or made the right decision to stay home when they knew a student was in close contact with a positive case over the break. We appreciate the fact that, overall, families have considered the impact of their decision to travel or otherwise circulate outside of their regular ‘bubble’ by remaining home from school when appropriate, and cooperating with the critical element of identifying close contacts to reduce further spread of the virus.
This was further reinforced by the fact that a record 884 people participated in the COVID-19 testing opportunity at Northville High School on Sunday, April 4th. MDHHS reported that a total of 884 tests were administered, with 829 negative tests and 55 positive tests. The positive test results were in individuals ranging from age 6 to age 59, with 42% of the positives within the range of 14-18 years of age.
Our current in-person scenarios across Northville Public Schools continue to maximize the high priority school mitigation measures that the CDC has identified as necessary during high transmission, including universal and correct use of masks and distancing. With continued diligence on everyone’s part, we can get past this alarming uptick in cases while keeping our students in school for the balance of the school year.
We also remain on-track in our in-depth planning for a full return in Fall 2021 and continue to be encouraged by the research on effective mitigation measures, along with broader access to vaccines and the ongoing research being conducted on vaccines for those under the age of 16.
Thank you for your ongoing diligence with utilizing the COVID-19 Student Screener each morning, staying home if not feeling well, and reporting positive cases or close contact with a positive case to your school’s attendance line. We are grateful to everyone who remains vigilant in following safety protocols, and in being mindful of the health and safety of our entire school community.
Mary Kay Gallagher