There are now 45 confirmed cases in the state. The numbers: We are in the midst of a spike in positive cases. He also didn’t know whether cases recorded over the last two weeks counted toward the numbers that would warrant closing buildings, or whether the count began this past Monday — the day districts were required to submit attestation forms to the state if they wanted to operate in person this week. Which masks protect those around you best? But some school officials said the state wasn’t giving them much choice. Assessment for Move to Virtual Education during COVID-19 Pandemic . He sees the new state rules as another set of conflicting instructions. Together we can make a difference, slow the spread of the virus, and save lives. But we do not have the authority to make schools open," Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, Montgomery County Commissioner, said last week. The North Penn School District is the first in Montgomery County to launch a COVID-19 rapid testing program for staff and high-risk students, following the county's announcement to expand testing efforts. Much of the debate over schools and the coronavirus has centered on whether the virus is transmitted in schools — data that Pennsylvania hasn’t been tracking, though local health officials have reported few outbreaks in school settings. Each school entity in Pennsylvania must create a Health and Safety Plan that will serve as the local guidelines for all school reopening activities. State health officials ordered Montgomery County, the "epicenter" of the coronavirus epidemic in the state, to close all schools and cancel all large public gatherings. Find opportunities for volunteering and donating in Montgomery County. Explore in-depth Pennsylvania data here. But it has real implications for the Montgomery County district, and others across Pennsylvania. For schools like those in the Chichester district, which has been rotating children into classrooms two days a week with virtual school days on Fridays, school time might not be lost if case counts rose to a shutdown level on a Thursday, for instance, and cleaning and contact tracing were performed over the weekend, said Superintendent Dan Nerelli. Many schools were not following those guidelines — saying they had been operating in-person safely, and had seen few instances of the virus spreading in their buildings. Three patients are hospitalized, while the others have mild symptoms and are resting at home. Instead, Philadelphia-area districts have been taking their cues from county health officials. Montgomery County officials are responding to a pandemic of respiratory disease spreading from person-to-person caused by a novel (new) coronavirus. The school shutdown order affecting more than 1.7 million school children, in public and private K-12 schools. more cases were reported in any other week of the entire eight-month pandemic. GET INVOLVED. The grid is aligned with CDC guidelines and was developed in consultation with Montgomery County health officials. Copyright © 2021 WPVI-TV. NORRISTOWN, PA – Montgomery County officials and the Office of Public Health (OPH) today reported COVID-19 test results and deaths from December 9 to December 15, 2020. But Thorwart said Council Rock South’s 14 cases could include students learning virtually — numbers that wouldn’t be counted for the purposes of closing a building. Among them are five in the Downingtown Area School District, which announced temporary closures last week after the school board voted to follow the state’s new rules. Montgomery County Reports 2,489 New COVID-19 Cases and 26 Deaths in Past Week Over the past week, 2,489 additional people tested positive for coronavirus, and 26 people died of COVID-19, bringing the countywide total to 34,930 cases and 1,028 deaths. “I wasn’t even sure it was a real word,” Crisfield said, as he began his presentation to community members. Like a number of school officials, Thorwart was still processing the new metrics this week. Latest Press Releases. COVID-19 in Pennsylvania COVID is tough, but Pennsylvanians are tougher. The patient confirmed Tuesday night had reportedly come into contact with another in… The coronavirus hit the region with its hardest punch yet Thursday, as Montgomery County schools were ordered to shut down for two weeks, and a cascade of closures took out venues such as the Wells Fargo Center and the Kimmel Center, canceling events from Philadelphia Orchestra concerts to 76ers and Flyers games. Anyone can become sick with COVID-19. The state Education Department said Tuesday that more than 99% of public school districts had submitted the forms. How COVID is impacting holiday gatherings, travel. Gov. Coronavirus In Montgomery County: Pennsylvania Announces Massive Closings Effective Friday ... Pennsylvania Significantly Expands COVID-19 VaccinationsStephanie Stahl reports. James Crisfield, Wissahickon School District superintendent, stands outside the Montgomery County district's administration building in this September file photo. Private schools were not required to submit the form. The new state guidelines relate to cases involving students or staff in schools — regardless of where they contracted the virus. Drastic measures are being taken to curtail the spread of the new coronavirus in Montgomery County after it became the epicenter for COVID-19 cases in Pennsylvania.. All schools… The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (OPH) supports the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s guidance for Recommendations for Pre-K to 12 Schools Following Identification of a Case(s) of COVID-19. » READ MORE: As COVID-19 cases surge, should schools stay open? The thresholds were “actually helpful to us,” since they differentiate among school buildings, said district spokesperson Jennifer Shealy. parental backlash over school closures has mounted, data that Pennsylvania hasn’t been tracking, Montgomery County judge denies parents’ effort to stop health board’s order to shut down schools; another lawsuit filed, The wait for a vaccine has frustrated teachers and slowed school reopening plans, Get Philly’s kids back in classrooms as soon as possible, Kenney and City Council tell School District, Joe Biden revokes Donald Trump’s ‘1776 Commission’ report promoting ‘patriotic education’, After inauguration, President Biden extended freeze on student loan payments until Sept. 30, Camden may have to close some schools, superintendent says, Mark Gleason, head of the influential Philadelphia School Partnership, is leaving, California residents do not sell my data request. In some cases, schools have already reverted to virtual instruction based on the new requirements. For months, Pennsylvania had recommended that schools in areas with substantial levels of transmission of the virus only provide virtual instruction. “This is going to be like snow days, except there’s no snow around,” Crisfield said in an interview. What to do if you think you have COVID-19 symptoms. We are an independent, co-ed day school serving pre-k through grade eight in Chester Springs, PA. Students are inspired to explore & prepared to succeed! As with all school emergency plans, the Health and Safety Plan should be tailored to the unique needs of each school entity and should be created in … Montgomery Co. Coronavirus Case Not Yet Linked to Others Eight of the 11 cases of positive coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania are in Montgomery County The majority of individuals in Montgomery County with COVID-19 have experienced mild to moderate symptoms. A Department of Education spokesperson did not respond to questions Wednesday about the rationale for the case counts. School Health and Safety Plans Submitted to PDE. Around the Philly region, approaches vary wildly. “Rather than having to make a blanket, district-wide decision,” some Downingtown schools continued offering some in-person instruction. In a school with 500 to 900 students, the threshold for a two-week closure is seven cases; more than 900 students, and the bar is 11 cases. We remain committed to providing a high-quality education to all MCPS students in the virtual model. As he explained why the Wissahickon School District — which is reopening for in-person instruction Monday — might have to close its buildings again amid the pandemic, Superintendent James Crisfield started by defining a word. The disease has been named "coronavirus disease 2019" (abbreviated "COVID-19"). The Montgomery County office of public health said they will now vote Friday at 12 p.m. on whether to start two weeks of virtual-only school beginning November 23. The total number of Montgomery County residents confirmed positive to have died from COVID-19 remains at 1,099 (570 females, 529 males). Apart from Montgomery County — which ordered schools to revert to virtual programs for two weeks amid the surge in coronavirus cases, a shutdown that ends this coming Monday — local counties in recent weeks have permitted or endorsed some level of in-person instruction. 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Pennsylvania COVID: Officials in Montgomery and Delaware counties are sounding the alarm on COVID-19, warning that the surge is putting a strain on the hospital system. latest update says wearing a face-covering doesn't just protect the people around you, but it also protects the wearer, The CDC posted its most specific guidance. “They’re trying to do everything they can possibly do without having the pushback on them for closing schools,” Nerelli said of the state — putting school leaders “in a tough position.”, While he isn’t advocating for a shutdown, Nerelli said: “If it’s that unsafe, tell us to close schools and we’ll do it.”, » Here are Philly’s current COVID-19 guidelines: inquirer.com/phillyguidelines, © 2021 The Philadelphia Inquirer, LLC Terms of Use/Privacy Policy/California Notice California residents do not sell my data request. Montgomery County records 15 more coronavirus deaths, 324 new positive cases By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-centurymedia.com @MontcoCourtNews on Twitter … Two more cases of the new coronavirus were announced in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania on Saturday. All Rights Reserved. “It feels to me like a backhanded way of closing schools without closing schools,” said Michael Thorwart, school board vice president in the Council Rock School District, which has been offering in-person instruction. Bob Brooks reports for Action News on Nov. 10, 2020. Rachel Ravina -- … Currently, people who are most at risk for complications are: Older adults (those over 60 years old) Those with serious underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes and lung disease More cases were reported in any other week of the entire eight-month pandemic of in... In-Person instruction coronavirus in Montgomery County district 's administration building in this September file photo areas substantial... 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