MORRISTOWN, NJ —The Morris School District reported Sunday that it had 14 new COVID-19 cases between Feb. 1-5, a slight rise over the previous week. The district said the schools affected were: Morris High School, Frelinghuysen Middle School, Alexander Hamilton Elementary School, Alfred Vail Elementary School, Hillcrest Elementary School and Woodland Elementary School.
The district said the majority of new cases did not impact anyone within the school.
"But the number illustrates that positivity rates remain high in our local area," the district stated in a release.
The district said any close contacts of those infected or others possibly exposed are in the process of completing a required 14-day quarantine period.
Upon the recommendation of local health departments, the district said it has made a few adjustments to its COVID-19 response protocols for students and staff in grades 6-12. Effective this week:
On a case-by-case basis, the district will determine whether a positive case in the classroom has resulted in contacts that meet the CDC definition of exposure. This definition is: Being within six feet of the positive case for at least 15 minutes cumulative time over a 24-hour period.
If this definition is met, these true close contacts and the positive individual will continue to follow a 14-day quarantine at home.
Anyone who does not meet the definition of close contact, can stay at school.
At this time, this adjustment applies only to students and staff at the middle school and high school.
Meanwhile, the district said the bus quarantine procedures will remain the same: Anyone present on the bus with a positive individual, whether they were within six feet or not, will still need to quarantine for 14 days.
In its release, the Morris School District noted New Jersey's daily COVID-19 case rate had decreased since its highest point of the pandemic in early January. The current level is now similar to the level in early December. Morris County and all other counties in New Jersey are still in the "orange" (high risk) category overall and in the "red" (very high risk) category in terms of case rate.