Last week the New Jersey Department of Health loosened some of the restrictions on in-school learning based on new data that underscores the state’s overreaction to contagion.
- In previous guidance, the State DOE strongly suggested that classrooms — even entire schools—should close if a teacher or student had symptoms of the novel coronavirus. The new guidance says that, in orange zones (high test positivity rate), classrooms should quarantine only if there is a positive COVID test.
- In earlier guidance the DOE said if a region moves to red (very high test positivity rate) all schools “must” go fully remote. In the new guidance, the DOE merely suggests such a switch.
- In earlier guidance, the DOE recommended that any student or teacher who had close contact with someone who diagnosed with COVID should quarantine for 14 days. Now that 14 days is shortened to 10 days if the regions is either yellow or green.
- The new guidance clarifies that if schools are fully remote, there should be no extracurricular activities, including sports.
See here for the new guidance. Currently there are 80 districts open for full-time in-school instruction, three more than last week. Twelve more districts moved from fully remote to a hybrid plan, 325 are fully remote, and 46 are using some combination. Currently all of New Jersey is in the orange zone. See here for updated information.