Harlan Ptomey

Superintendent Press Release August 27, 2021

Dear Cedar Bluffs Families,

I have been asked by several families if I would continue to provide information on COVID this school this year. I am certainly happy to do this, although please understand the information I share might be very different since the State of Nebraska has taken down all their data reporting. Three Rivers Health no longer has a Risk dial for me to report and guidance that we do get remains uncertain and clouded since the Governor will not permit DHHS and Dr. Anthone the ability to issue Directed Health Measures. Furthermore, Test Nebraska no longer exists, making it very difficult to get accurate information regarding testing and positive cases. I will do my best to keep you informed, although it might not be on a weekly basis.

At the beginning of the year, we were being told to treat COVID as any other illness, where if we had an outbreak of measles or mumps, we would need to close a classroom, close a grade, or maybe even close a school depending upon spread. The same would hold true for COVID. Three Rivers Health said they were no longer contract tracing, there was no quarantine orders and the only restriction that was mandated by the CDC was the 10 days of isolation if a student or staff tested positive for COVID. All schools in the area wrote a similar back to school plan under these conditions. Then on August 5th, the CDC changed their stance on masks saying that they recommend, not mandate, that all students and staff should wear a mask in school. To further complicate things, the Delta variant hit, and cases began to rise, even vaccinated people could spread the virus, but had less of a chance of being hospitalized. Nevertheless, schools began to change some of their protocols. Cedar Bluffs Public School has only changed one protocol and that happened last week after Three Rivers Health gave us guidance that anyone living in a house where someone is positive is considered a “high-risk”, close contact and should quarantine. We did have a family who sent students to school under our previous guidance while a family member had tested positive. At the same time, another family who also had a positive case in their household chose to keep all their children home. As a school, we do not get information on whether the positive tests are the Delta variant or any other variant. Also, because one of the high school students who tested positive had a class in the school’s daycare, the YMCA who runs our daycare decided to close the daycare impacting 6 of our staff. The YMCA has decided to institute masks for anyone entering that their daycare moving forward. No other positive cases have occurred from that incident nor from the family who sent students under our previous guidance. To keep up to date on any changes we have to our Protocols, please visit: https://www.cedarbluffsschools.org/browse/230263.

2021 TOTAL POSITIVE: 9-Students, 3-Parent(s)/Family Members, 0-Staff

THIS WEEK POSITIVE: 9-Students, 3-Parent(s)/Family Members, 0-Staff CURRENT QUARANTINE: 3

Since the start of the year, we have had 9 students and 3 family members report as COVID positive. Currently there are 3 students from the same family also in quarantine. These 9 students represent 5 unrelated families and thus Three Rivers has indicated that the positive cases are not related to school spread. With over 80% of our staff vaccinated, we have zero positive staff cases. It is worth mentioning that I am tracking other illnesses also and we are seeing an uptick in strep throat, sinus infections and RSV in small children that has impacted our community. On average over the first 10 days of school we have had 13.2 student per day absent from illnesses. This number does not include the 3 students absent for quarantine or students absent for non-illness reasons but does include the 9 positive cases. 13.2 of daily absences equates to roughly 2.71% of our student population and is well within past school year attendance numbers. #WildcatPride