Superintendent Letter – Return to School Update

Dear Clayton Community:

I want to inform you of our school schedule for the upcoming week. I am happy to announce that we are ready to reopen our schools for full-day in-person learning on Tuesday, January 18th. Even though we continue to get reports of positive COVID-19 cases, the rate of these reports has begun to slow down. I feel confident that we will be able to safely return to school for in-person learning next week.

As required, the face mask mandate remains in place for all students, staff, and visitors while on school grounds. We will continue to adhere to the recommended social distancing requirements. In addition, I want to make you aware of a change in quarantine times that the New Jersey Department of Health has adopted and recommended for public schools. Effective immediately, quarantine times due to positive COVID-19 tests have been reduced to five days from the onset of symptoms. Below is the information from the New Jersey Department of Health:

Persons who test positive for COVID-19 and are symptomatic or persons with COVID-19 symptoms who weren’t tested or who are waiting for test results:

  • Stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the first day of symptoms)
    • If symptoms resolve (fever free for 24 hours and other symptoms improve), isolation can end after 5 full days (i.e. on day 6)
    • If symptoms persist (fever or if other symptoms have not improved), continue to isolate until fever-free for 24 hours and other symptoms have improved

Persons who test positive for COVID-19 but have no symptoms

  • Stay home and isolate from other people for at least 5 full days (day 0 is the day of the positive viral test)
    • If no symptoms develop, isolation can end after 5 full days (i.e. on day 6)
    • If symptoms develop within one week of the positive test, the 5-day isolation period starts over with day 0 being the first day of symptoms. Follow recommendations for ending isolation for persons who have COVID-19 symptoms

 This is welcome news for all of us, and hopefully this will give us the ability to shorten quarantine times and allow students and staff to return to school sooner.

I think this is an important step as we move forward and learn to live with COVID-19. As I stated before, my hope is that the last two weeks were just a “bump in the road” and that we can finish the school year without any interruptions.

As always, thank you for your support and flexibility.

Sincerely yours,

Nikolaos C. Koutsogiannis
Superintendent of Schools
NK/rml

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