COVID UPDATE AND DATA TRANSPARENCY
FOR THE 2021-22 SCHOOL YEAR
|New COVID Positive Cases This Week||3||0|
|Total New Absences this Week due to COVID-like Symptoms||17||12|
|Total New Absences This Week due to Close Contact||1||0|
|COVID Positivity Rate (Trailing 2-weeks)||0.30%||0.30%|
Two of our three new COVID-positive cases were athletic coaches who do not work in the building. The other is our first student-positive case of this school year, which resulted in one quarantined close contact.
We will be continuing to look closely with our medical task force at our new cases and other absences, along with the community trends, to consider whether additional protective measures are warranted.
Below is a message sent to all families on September 20, 2021 from Brebeuf Jesuit Principal, Greg VanSlambrook.
Dear Brebeuf Jesuit Community,
This message is to inform our community that Brebeuf Jesuit will require masks indoors for all students, faculty, staff, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, beginning tomorrow, Tuesday, September 21. We plan for this measure to stay in place until at least Friday, October 15, which is our last day before fall break, and reevaluate going forward from there. This is a decision made by the Brebeuf Jesuit Leadership Team, in consultation with our Medical Task Force.
We have been blessed to be in school together, every day for six full weeks now. One of the things we are most grateful for has been our community’s response to the call to get vaccinated – our most recent data shows 92% of our students and 98% of our faculty and staff fully vaccinated. When we share this number with medical professionals and other school leaders, the response is typically, “wow.” This has been the most important thing we could have done for the protection of our community, and has had the promised benefit, as we’ve been able to be closer to “normal” in our school days and our events.
At the same time, we are all aware that the spread of the Delta variant has been a significant problem for our local community. We hear about a hospital system that is under severe strain, and the local rates of cases and hospitalizations are approaching the highest they’ve been throughout the pandemic. After starting the year mask-optional in light of our high vaccination rate, our approach at Brebeuf Jesuit has been to keep a close eye on our internal data as well as the community data, to continuously reevaluate and to ensure that we will be able to remain in school together every day.
While our case numbers among our students, faculty and staff have remained quite low, we did see a slight increase in positive COVID cases last week, as published on our website. It has also been difficult with a variety of illnesses circulating, to differentiate between typical cold or allergy symptoms, and COVID symptoms. Recent data from universities who are testing all of their communities regularly shows us that in the current environment of Delta, there are likely to be asymptomatic carriers of COVID in any population our size, even with our vaccination rate. Given this context and the high rate in the local community, we feel that it is most prudent to move toward an additional “layer of protection” as the CDC guidance suggests.
So, in summary, we are adding the protective layer of masking indoors for two reasons. One is for another line of defense for our own students, faculty, staff, and their families. The other is to do our part in our local community that is seeing a high rate of transmission, to ensure that we are part of the solution and not contributing to that problem. As we should all know by now, my mask protects you, and your mask protects me. To put it another way – we are doing this to live out our call as men and women for others.