Superintendent Weekly Press Release December 18, 2020
Dear Cedar Bluffs Families,
COVID RISK LEVEL: ORANGE
For the Week of December 21st, the COVID risk dial remains in Orange falling from 3.43 to 3.29. Dodge and Washington counties remain unmoved at 3.14 and 3.29 respectively but Saunders county fell from 3.43 to 3.29.
TOTAL POSITIVE: 17-Students, 35-Parent(s)/Family Members, 21-Staff
THIS WEEK POSITIVE: 2-Students, 1-Parent(s)/Family Members, 3-Staff CURRENT QUARANTINE: 17
As for Cedar Bluffs Public School we have had 4 staff members fall ill this week with 3 of them testing positive, while 1 tested negative and returned to work. Consequently, the positive staff members had students and other family members who work at Cedar Bluffs Public School which led to the quarantining of two more students and another staff person. Also, this week we had 2 students test positive, which quarantined other siblings. As well we learned of another close contact from a student who was positive last week and we asked that student to quarantine as well. For parent and family members this week we have one parent who is currently being tested while another parent was positive resulting in multiple quarantines of their students. Beside those that are positive we have 1 staff member and 16 students quarantining from positive family members and/or close contacts for a total of 17.
The first vaccines have arrived and been administered in Nebraska. Frontline workers in hospitals, emergency personnel and employees in long term care facilities are the first to receive the vaccine in the 1A group. Teachers and those employed in schools are in the 1B group and from what I am hearing we will start being vaccinated at the end of January or early February. Three Rivers Health has already reached out to our school to coordinate and develop a plan to come to our school to vaccinate any employee who chooses to receive the vaccine. At this time, it is not a requirement but will be highly encouraged for everyone to receive the vaccine. We will have some employees that cannot receive the vaccine because they are pregnant or have severe allergic reactions to vaccines. As of this date, we have had about 25% of our staff who have gotten ill from COVID. These staff members carry some immunity, but the CDC is recommending that they also receive the vaccine because it offers a longer immunity and protects from all known strains. I did read a report yesterday that they have discovered a new strain in the UK. I predict, just like the flu, that vaccines will need to be adapted to all the new strains each year and we will be vaccinated annually just like we currently do for the flu. Scientists say that each time a virus mutates it becomes weaker, so at some point, and after multiple mutations the COVID-19 virus will also lose its potency. Furthermore, because those that receive the vaccine can still carry and infect others, we will all still need to continue to wear masks to protect others that can’t or haven’t gotten the vaccine including our children. Pfizer is working on trials for children at this time, but the FDA has not approved any vaccine for people under 16 years of age yet.
This will be my last update for 2020. My next update will be January 8, 2021. Have a Happy Holiday!