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Adam Eilath

Dear Wornick Community,

I'm writing to you on the heels of a frightening Shabbat in Colleyville, Texas. We are extremely grateful that the hostage situation was resolved with none of the synagogue attendees being harmed and we are in awe of the bravery of the first responders and Rabbi Cytron-Walker. I will be sharing reflections on this weekend's events in my head notes in the Wornick Weekly.

I wanted to send a brief update on our health and safety measures as we navigate another week of this COVID-19 surge. Last week a community member tested positive after experiencing symptoms. It does not appear that case caused any community transmission from our testing protocols so far. An additional community member tested positive as part of our surveillance testing. All testing from the cohorts affected have thus far not turned back any positives (we received roughly 150 negative tests from our Friday batch).

  • Our health and safety committee has determined that we will continue with weekly all school testing. Tests will be distributed on Thursday and need to be returned on Friday morning.
  • Following the new CDC masking guidelines, our health and safety committee has approved a new masking requirement. Effective Monday January 24th, all students must wear a surgical mask, an KN95 mask or a KF94 mask. We have included some links to some approved masks below. Please look for a NIOSH approval or an FDA approval on the masks you purchase. Cloth masks will no longer be approved. It is essential that your children's masks are well fitting and not loose. Our school will have back up masks if your student doesn't have the correct mask. Please change your students' masks as soon as you have them available.
  • Our health and safety committee has chosen to maintain the 10 day isolation period for COVID positive individuals out of an abundance of caution. Due to the smaller but still significant possibility of continued contagiousness during Days 6-10 and the need for consistent wearing of a tight-fitting mask during that time period (which can be a challenge for some of our children), our medical advisors believe that it is prudent for all students and staff to continue to take advantage of remote learning for the full 10 day isolation period. Of course, this policy is being evaluated regularly and, if a change in policy is adopted, we will communicate it immediately.
  • If you have tested positive for COVID-19, you do not need to take part in our surveillance PCR testing for 90 days. You should only test if you are symptomatic.
  • It is crucial that you keep your student home if they have any symptoms including even minor symptoms (runny nose, headaches, etc.). Test your students and your family frequently if any symptoms are present in the home.

Overall, our school leadership and medical advisors feel like our health and safety practices are working. When there is a positive case in any group or cohort, an email is sent out to all close contacts and we conduct additional PCR testing immediately. In each of these cases it appears that we are mitigating transmission at school.

Thank you to all the families who have submitted their vaccination status. If you have not done so, please send your vaccination status to health@wornickjds.org immediately. Although omicron is infecting vaccinated individuals as well as unvaccinated individuals, emerging data is demonstrating that vaccinated individuals fare far better than unvaccinated. It has been widely reported in the media that vaccines prevent hospitalization or severe infection. However, the data also demonstrates that it significantly reduces the likelihood of infection.

In TK-8th grade we are approaching 80% full vaccination (2 weeks out from the second dose, with boosters for eligible students). Many families have chosen to begin vaccination in the last week and we urge all of you to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Our doctors believe that higher vaccination rates at our school will significantly benefit our school's ability to operate and thrive through these variants.

In health and partnership,
Adam

USA Today - How to Find KN95 Masks for Kids
N95Project.org