Uptick of COVID-19 cases forces NJ school to go full-remote learning

New Jersey

GLEN ROCK, N.J. — Students returned to class at Glen Rock High School this week after a much deserved, week-long break.

But then cases of COVID19 among the student body started bubbling up. Four cases were reported over the break, then 10 more on Tuesday, according to administrators. When the superintendent of schools notified parents about the uptick, two new cases sprouted up, bringing the total to 16.

It prompted the district to shut down the school and go all-remote.  Superintendent Brett Charleston told PIX11 News over email that the district’s contact tracers have determined that the source of the spread was due to social gatherings that happened over the break. 

Administrators at the school have long encouraged students to practice social distancing and to wear masks on and off school grounds but it appears Glen Rock is among a growing number of schools across the country where pandemic fatigue is winning the battle.

“In order to get control of this pandemic we’re going to have to get control of this virus among children,” Dr. Susannah Hills, a pediatric airway surgeon at Columbia University Medical Center, told PIX11 News.

According to Dr. Hills, if there’s one message to hammer into children and their parents it’s that the public health measures practiced for over a year now, are still very much relevant.

“Kids could get sick just like adults and they’re a population affected by this virus and they’re going to continue to carry the virus and spread it,” she said.

It’s why many schools across New Jersey implemented all-remote learning a week after their breaks, anticipating a so-called Spring Break effect.

Unless new developments arise, Glen Rock High School is scheduled to return to in-person learning on Monday, April 12.

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