Happy New Year! The new year always brings an opportunity to start over, change behaviors and do things better than we did the year before--out with old and in with the new!
This year, as much as we desire to put 2020 behind us, we must not discard the infection control measures which were instituted at the beginning of our school year. Since Thanksgiving, we have seen increased community spread of the coronavirus and currently Maricopa County is reporting the highest number of cases since the onset of the Pandemic. Additionally, a mutation, or a change in the virus, first noted in the United Kingdom, has been found in people sick with COVID in Colorado, California and Florida. (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-emerging-variant.html)
So far, this mutation doesn’t seem to change how the illness affects people, but it does make the virus much more transmittable. Though it has yet to be documented in Arizona, we should act as though it is here. Infectious disease experts indicate that the best protection against this strain of the coronavirus are the things we have been doing all along. The simple measures we began practicing in August: Frequent hand-washing, physical distancing, mask wearing and staying home when sick, have allowed us to keep OLMC open and will allow us to remain open through May if we return to school with a resolve to continue to practice them. Please take a few moments and review with your student the importance of continuing to adhere to infection control measures and the responsibility each of us has in this endeavor. Of great importance is paying attention to physical distancing. The identification and quarantine of persons who are considered “close contacts” (defined as having been within 6 foot for more than 15 minutes in a 24 hour period) of a person who is COVID positive are nullified if there has been ANY physical contact at all. This means something as seemingly inconsequential as grabbing a friend, giving a “piggy-back” ride or playing a brief game of tackle football could make one a “close contact” and necessitate quarantine.
As we return to school, following the celebration of the Nativity of Christ, some rest and relaxation, let’s resolve to do those things that make us “Smart, Healthy & Holy” with increased rigor so that we can experience all the Blessings the New Year will bring, together.BACK TO LIST