COVID 19 Decision Tree 10/25/21
ESSER III Application
A Message From Superintendent Pretzer
In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic the health and well-being of our students, staff and community is paramount. We will be facing very difficult decisions about school and school events. As our local and state officials try to make the most informed health decisions this comes with its challenges. At present (3/13/2020) in North Dakota there have been fifty-two people tested for COVID-19. Thirty-nine have tested negative, twelve results are pending, and one person has tested positive. This person had recently returned to ND from another state. To date, none of the people tested have been hospitalized.
One unfortunate issue is that presently healthcare providers have a very limited number of testing kits available. Because of this they may ask their patients to self-quarantine to minimize the risk to others. Even so, there is no way to determine if someone is infected by COVID-19 without a positive test result. So far the data suggests that many people who are symptomatic will be asked to self-quarantine and much fewer will actually carry the virus.
In the event a decision is made that closing our school is in the best interest of our students and staff, we are prepared to deliver instruction while students are at home. Our students may not be physically in school, but school will continue. Much prior to the situation we now face, the teaching staff at Scranton School was preparing for the possibility of a school closure. Systems are in place to deliver web-based instruction to our students.
Digital classrooms have been created where students can easily communicate with their teachers, receive assignments and return assignments to be graded. At times, teachers may pull their classrooms together using video conferencing applications. Certainly, the depth of the technology used will differ with the grade levels of our students. Teachers of younger students will communicate and collaborate with parents in delivering this instruction. I am sure that if, and when, we implement these web-based classrooms there will be a period of adjustment for our students. We ask our parents to assist by tracking and monitoring their child’s attention to school and completion of their assignments.
I commend our teaching staff for their hard work in order to provide this kind of instruction and a sense of normalcy to our students. This is a scary time for them so having daily contact with their teachers and classmates will be comforting during this time. We ask that if medical professionals advise you or a member of your family to self-quarantine that you share this with the administration or teaching staff. In this way, we can offer supports to your family during that time.
We are very fortunate to have a strong and supportive community when times and situations are difficult. I assure you that we are using the best information and agencies available in order to track this virus and make decisions. Everyone realizes that data and information changes hourly and decisions will be made quickly to react to this new information. We are grateful that all the data indicates that school-aged children who have tested positive with COVID-19 are at a very low risk level to develop complications. We thank you for your support and will keep you informed of school decisions.
Burgum, Department of Health release recommendations for events and public gatherings
Thursday, March 12, 2020 – 09:45pm
BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum, in conjunction with the North Dakota Department of Health (NDDoH), released recommendations today for events and public gatherings in light of the spread of novel coronavirus disease, COVID-19.
The recommendations outline different strategies for events and public gatherings based on three levels of risk, or thresholds.
“These recommendations are designed to help leaders, event organizers and others determine which actions are needed to mitigate and contain the spread of coronavirus,” Burgum said. “While North Dakota is currently at the lowest risk level, with one confirmed case of COVID-19 and no evidence of community spread, event organizers are free to implement more stringent restrictions. We anticipate crossing these thresholds as community spread of COVID-19 arrives in North Dakota.”
Following are definitions and recommendations for the three risk levels:
Low Risk – Threshold 1 means unmitigated or uncontained community transmission of coronavirus is occurring elsewhere, but there may not be evidence of significant community transmission in North Dakota yet. At this level, authorities should consider initiating minimally restrictive, or burdensome, but effective mitigation measures. Additionally, authorities should consider canceling or postponing events where a substantive number of attendees are from high-risk locations or high-risk populations.
North Dakota has had one individual test positive for COVID-19, but the case did not involve community transmission. The Department of Health on Wednesday confirmed the state’s first presumptive case of COVID-19 in a Ward County resident in his 60s. The man had traveled out of state where he had contact with a person who has since tested positive for the disease. The Ward County man is currently self-isolating and recovering at home as the public health investigation is ongoing and NDDoH awaits confirmation testing from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Moderate risk – Threshold 2 is defined as unmitigated or uncontained community transmission of coronavirus occurring in at least one geographic jurisdiction within the state. At this level, authorities should consider canceling or rescheduling events if located within the area that has community transmission of the disease or if a large number of attendees are anticipated to come from these impacted areas. Consider alternative attendance options such as web-based, televised only or remote attendance.
High Risk – Threshold 3 means there is widespread community transmission of coronavirus within North Dakota. At this level, authorities should cancel or postpone all events that involve the potential for disease transmission and cannot accommodate alternative attendance options.