The New Jersey Department of Health today unveiled a new dashboard to report instances of in-school transmission of COVID-19 in each county, as well as the number of cases identified with these instances.
“Local health departments are able to determine if a case is associated with in-school transmission by interviewing the individuals who tested positive about where they have been, who they have been in close contact with and to identify a connection between cases,” said Department of Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
She added that the department’s dashboard will be updated with statistics on confirmed outbreaks associated with in-school transmission, and defined an “outbreak” as two or more laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases among students or staff with onsets within a 14 day period, but no prior connections, such as those that may be found through contact tracing.
“In creating this dashboard we have balanced transparency with public information and protecting the privacy of those in our school communities,” Gov. Phil Murphy said of the dashboard at a press briefing today.
The dashboard can be found at covid19.nj.gov.
“Over the past three weeks we have had minimal disruptions reported,” the governor said. “Any identified cases of coronavirus have been quickly dealt with to minimize the potential for in-school spread.”
According to Murphy there are currently 278 school districts that are utilizing all-remote learning, 403 disctrics using a hybrid model, 81 using in person learning, and 40 using a combination across different buildings.
“When the school year began, we all saw images from schools in other states where students returned to crowded hallways where they congregated without masks,” said Kevin Dehmer, interim commissioner for the New Jersey Department of Education. “Here in New Jersey, staff and students are following social distancing rules, they are wearing masks and are working closely with their local health officials, and they are making safety their number one priority.”
Dehmer said that the all-remote districts are “making plans to return to in-person instruction in some capacity, [with] some looking to return earlier than planned.”
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