Checking in on the 5 Towns Covid-19 cases

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Though Nassau County has an adult vaccination rate of 90 percent receiving at least one dose it remains in New York’s red zone – more than 100 new Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people.

Five Towns Covid cases have fluctuated in the past two months. In August, new infections seesawed from 81 to 113. Last month, new cases shot up to 256 for one week then slid down to 49 the following week (see chart).

Inside the first month of school, which has included a few off days for holidays, the Lawrence School District has reported nine Covid cases. Three each at the high school, middle and elementary school. The district returned to in-person learning-only this year.

Saying that nine is “low compared to some other districts,” Superintendent Dr. Ann Pedersen said Lawrence does not plan to revise its current Covid safety protocols, which includes everyone needing to wear masks inside the school buildings and after two cases forced the varsity football team to forfeit a game a proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test was required for all staff.  

“We are fortunate that people are following protocol,” Pedersen stated in an email. “Most importantly staying out of the building if experiencing symptoms. The few cases are unrelated to one another. As of Oct. 1 no reported close contact of a case has tested positive.” 

Pedersen said that superintendents are in constant contact with each other and the county’s Department of Health. Contingency plans are in place, she said, if the district needs to suspend in-person learning. “Yes we have the capacity that was built last year,” Pedersen stated. “All K-12 students and staff have individual devices.” 

Hewlett-Woodmere School District is one those district with higher numbers. As of Oct. 1, 23 students testing positive and a half dozen teachers.

All students, staff and visitors are required to wear masks while indoors, no matter their vaccination status. Masks are optional outside on school property. Masks are also required for all students and staff on the school buses.  

“We are following all CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and DoH guidelines at all of our schools,” interim Deputy Superintendent John Hogan wrote in an email. “We will adjust our protocols when/if these guidelines change.”

The district started the school year with in-person learning. Quarantined students receive remote instruction until they can return to school.

Hogan noted that the district is prepared to move to online learning should the district need to temporarily suspend in-person instruction at any of its buildings.

A few of the private schools in the Five Towns have had varied numbers. The Brandeis School and the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach have zero reported Covid cases as of Oct. 1.

The Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway High School has had six students test positive and Davis Renov Stahler Yeshiva High School for Boys had one teacher test positive. Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls has not reported any figures, according to the state’s Covid Report Card.

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