Governor Murphy answers questions on New Jersey’s ongoing response to COVID-19, in this segment focusing on testing and nursing homes.
The Morris Hills Regional District sent out a letter to its school community on Friday that confirmed two positive COVID-19 test results, one at each of the two district high schools.
“Today, the Morris Hills Regional District learned that a student at Morris Knolls High School and Morris Hills High School have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19),” it stated. “The two cases are not connected.”
Superintendent James Jencarelli learned of the cases Friday morning in separate phone calls with the principals of the schools. The district is coordinating closely with public health officials in Rockaway Township and Denville, the students’ hometowns.
Health Department employees have begun contact tracing starting with the identified families and tracing will continue in the coming days, according to school officials.
“At the school level we check and see if they are involved in any of our activities or on any of our buses, and what classes did they have… Anybody who is sitting within 6 feet of proximity, we give all of that information to the department of health and they start doing contact tracing,” said Jencarelli.
The schools will not be switching to online learning as a result of the two positive cases.
“Both Morris Knolls High School and Morris Hills High School will remain open with their hybrid model in place,” the letter stated.
The decision to continue with the hybrid model was based on input from health officials, Jencarelli said.
“They give recommendations based on how many positive cases you have and how many classes they’ve been in,” he said. “Usually, if you have two or more in one school they will ask that school to close for a few days for deep cleaning. Since we are over the weekend and we do deep cleaning on a daily basis we are safe to do our hybrid model when kids come back on Tuesday.”
Mondays have been closed for cleaning as part of district health protocols this year.
Other protocols at the schools include hourly desk cleaning, distancing, morning symptom checks, mask wearing, and checking temperatures on all visitors. Students are also divided into cohorts, and alternate between virtual and in-person learning days.
Gene Myers is a local reporter for NorthJersey.com. For unlimited access to the most important news from your local community, please subscribe or activate your digital account today.
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