New Jersey has 186,594 total COVID-19 positive cases and 14,054 deaths. Total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 1024 including 83 deaths. Sadly, today we are announcing the passing of a 50-year old male from Woodbine, “I am truly sorry for this loss, “said Cape May County Freeholder Jeff Pierson. “I extend to the family and friends my most heartfelt sorrow and condolences.” Additionally, there are 3 new out of county positive cases that are included in the Non-resident Active Cases listed below.
New Jersey Department of Education Issues Guidance for In-Person School Instruction
The guidance sets the minimum standards for returning to school and serves as a toolkit for schools to use as they develop their recovery plans – recognizing that flexibility is needed as each school will have unique needs and circumstances, and some efforts will need to be guided by local health officials.
The guidance describes several health and safety standards to be prioritized in school reopening:
- Social distancing: Schools and districts must allow for social distancing within the classroom. If schools are not able to maintain this physical distance, additional modifications should be considered.
- Face coverings: Students are required to wear face coverings at all times while inside a school building, regardless of social distancing, unless doing so would inhibit the individual’s health. School staff and visitors are also required to wear face coverings.
- Limited capacity: It is recommended that students and staff be seated at least six feet apart in class when practicable. When weather allows, windows should be opened to allow for greater air circulation.
- Cleaning/disinfecting: Procedures must be implemented by each school district for the sanitization of school buildings and school buses. Increased handwashing measures are also important for students and staff.
Other provisions in the guidance include:
- Cafeteria directors should consider staggering meal times to allow for social distancing; discontinuing self-serve or buffet lines; having students eat meals outside or in their classrooms; and requiring staff to disinfect eating areas between groups.
- Recess should also be held in staggered shifts, with efforts to promote social distancing and hygiene protocols.
- Cohorting: Schools may wish to identify small groups of students and keep them together (cohorting) to ensure that student and staff groupings are as static as possible, thereby limiting exposure to large groups of students.
- School buses: If a district is providing transportation services on a school bus, a face covering must be worn by all students upon entering the bus unless doing so would inhibit the student’s health. Operators should encourage social distancing. CDC guidelines recommend seating on a school bus such that there is one student seated per row, skipping a row between each child, if possible.
Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolve. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System Hotline at 211 or 1-800-962-1253, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, World Health Organization at www.who.int, New Jersey Department of Health at COVID19.nj.gov. For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net and also like us on Facebook.