Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Local News

Guilford Schools Drop Plan to Return to Full In-Person Studies; Second COVID Case Confirmed

After planning for about two months to return to fully in-person classes on Monday, Oct. 19, Guilford schools have instead chosen to continue the fully hybrid learning model at Baldwin Middle School and Guilford High School (GHS), while all other schools begin a four-day a week that still includes distance learning on Wednesday.

On Oct. 13, Superintendent of Schools Dr. Paul Freeman announced the change in plan due to statewide and local conditions. On Oct. 15, GHS had a student test positive for the coronavirus. That student was last in the school on Oct. 9.

Because the schools estimate the number of contacts to be “limited,” Freeman said there would be no closures and the district would push forward with its current plans. The school is conducting contract tracing and will be in touch with everyone who has come into “close contact” with the student, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

“Guilford Public Schools will closely monitor this situation and will continue to work with both the Guilford Health Department and our advising physician,” Freeman’s letter reads. “We will provide you with updates as needed.”

The case is the second in the district since students returned to classrooms in mid-September, district Communications Coordiantor Lorri Hahn confirmed to the Courier/Zip06.com; both cases were in the high school.

In his letter explaining the shift in reopening plan, Freeman cited increasing COVID infections across the state and emphasized that Guilford’s success in staying open and minimizing cases was due to measures taken in regards to cohorting, mask-wearing, and social distancing. Having Wednesdays to clean buildings mid-week has also been a positive, according to Freeman.

“We know that these adjustments to our reopening plan will be difficult for many. This decision has not been easy to make, but above all else, the health and safety of our students and staff will always be our first priority,” Freeman wrote. “Our goal is to have all of our students and staff return to our schools fully as soon as it is safe to do so.”

Jesse Williams covers Guilford and Madison for Zip06. Email Jesse at j.williams@shorepublishing.com.

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