HOBOKEN, NJ — The Hoboken schools will go remote this coming week, in addition to their already planned week of remote learning after Thanksgiving weekend, Superintendent of Schools Christine Johnson announced Friday.
She said that staff members and students have been testing positive for the virus, and she is concerned about staffing.
"While this may not be wildly popular, I must shift the district to remote learning on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week as well, for all PK-12 grade students," she wrote late on Friday.
For Hoboken testing locations click here.
She added, "This will provide us with two full weeks out of the school buildings. This time frame will complete any quarantine that begins as of today, and will provide an adequate window of time after Thanksgiving if anyone begins to present with symptoms. We will be changing our COVID-19 form to include travel questions."
"Over the past two days, we have been dealing with a few situations in which staff members and students have been placed on self quarantine due to coming in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Most often this situations are individuals outside of our school community."
She noted, "Our regional area is marked in the 'orange' high risk COVID-19 range. I watch this rating very closely ... In addition to these COVID-19 situations, it is also cold and flu season. Both our students and staff members are affected and we have seen a rise in absences. In order to operate our schools in the most safe and efficient manner, we must be fully staffed."
Johnson said that children were asked to bring their belongings home on Friday.
"There certainly is a possibility that this remote learning shift could be extended. If it is necessary, you will be informed immediately."
Some North Jersey districts chose to go remote after the Thanksgiving holiday or after Christmas for two weeks.
The Summit School District has asked its families to return to New Jersey by Jan. 3, and will stay remote until the middle of that month.
The Cranford schools announced Friday that they will go remote for two weeks after Thanksgiving because the area's regional status changed to "high risk."
Gov. Phil Murphy has told people coming back from 46 states to quarantine for 14 days.
Hoboken cases hit record
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla said Friday that in advance of Thanksgiving, the city has partnered with several local pharmacies and firms to make more coronavirus testing available.
He also said 32 new cases were reported in the mile-square city on Thursday — the highest one-day increase in the city of 53,000 people since the beginning of the pandemic.
Bhalla said that the mile-square city has had 1,264 confirmed cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Of those, he said, 1,047 residents were confirmed by the Hoboken Health Department as having fully recovered. A total of 31 Hoboken residents have passed away from coronavirus.
Bhalla said that the state of New Jersey reported 4,320 new cases Thursday, along with 34 deaths. Five of the past six days have had over 4,000 cases.
The state's highest one-day fatality rate was 460 residents on April 30, or one fatality every three minutes.
Doctors have said that a number of factors are contributing to the drop in the New Jersey daily death rate since spring, including people getting test results (and thus treatment) sooner, more protective equipment available in hospitals, and doctors becoming better able to treat the virus. However, the virus still can have long-term effects.
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