CREC schools will go virtual the week after Thanksgiving in anticipation of some students and staff being exposed to the coronavirus during the holiday, the school system announced Thursday.
The Capitol Region Education Council said it made the decision “after a great deal of deliberation and consultation” with its medical director. Classes will be held online from Nov. 30 through Dec. 4 for all grades and then will resume in person on Dec. 7.
“After getting feedback from staff and families about their plans, we believe that the holiday weekend poses a unique problem for our schools,” executive director Greg Florio said in a statement. “There is a high probability that some staff and students will be more exposed to the virus during the long weekend, which includes travel and family gatherings.”
Acting public health commissioner Dr. Deidre Gifford has cautioned against all non-essential travel.
Gov. Ned Lamont on Thursday asked travelers to quarantine before or after arrival in Connecticut and urged families to avoid large groups and individuals over the age of 60 stay home as much as possible. He has capped all private gatherings at 10 people, as Connecticut this week reached a level of COVID-19 hospitalizations not previously seen since late May.
Experts say large holiday gatherings, particularly indoors, could put families at risk and accelerate Connecticut’s worsening COVID-19 outbreak.
According to a tool developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the odds that at least one attendee at a 10-person gathering has COVID-19 is at least 18% in Hartford County, at least 21% in New Haven County and at least 25% in Fairfield County. As gatherings grow bigger, those odds increase sharply.
The state has also added Maine and New Hampshire to its COVID-19 travel advisory, making 44 states from which travel is restricted and leaving only two (Vermont and Hawaii) that are eligible for inclusion on the advisory but not currently listed.
Rebecca Lurye can be reached at email@example.com.
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