HOLMDEL, NJ - A student at the High School has tested positive for COVID-19. This is according to Holmdel High School Principal Brian Schillachi. They acted quickly.
According to the email from Schillachi, "The Monmouth County Department of Health (MCDOH) has been notified and we are working closely to mitigate any further risk for exposure. Per the guidelines from the Monmouth County Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, any students and employees who were in direct contact with the individual who tested positive will be required to quarantine for 14 days. In addition, the classrooms will undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization process."
In an email to district parents on Thursday, the predetermined strategy was implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and maintain on site learning for Holmdel students, teachers and support staff. Earlier Thursday morning, some parents on a local Facebook site wrote that a 'shelter in place' was issued. The concerns were addressed by the school. They placed the mode into effect to control the movement of students while the few students who were in contact with the student who tested positive were moved to quarantine for their health and the health of others in the district. That was according to an email to parents as well. It is widely expected that such events may be more common as schools move to full days. It does not mean, however, that a return to spring levels is going to happen. A busy local doctor, Dr. Brendan Mulholland, provided knowledge (and comfort) to concerned families who fear the worst.
"Please do not buy into the hysteria no matter which side of the political aisle you fall on. For example on my way to work recently, the news radio said the virus was raging in South Dakota. Researching the facts show that they are having about 1,000 positive cases a day, but they reported 0 deaths on this date! In fact since the pandemic began they have only attributed 345 COVID deaths to the whole state. During the same time many more people in South Dakota have died from heart disease, cancers, car accidents, to name a few. This is hardly “raging” by any reasonable measure, yet the media propagates the narrative." Mulholland stated.
"So has the virus mutated and become less virulent? It’s a question for the epidemiologists and scientists and I do not pretend to be either of those. However, I see what’s happening locally and as I previously said so far so good. Nothing so far reminds me of what we experienced this spring. This was a deadly virus but it’s no longer acting this way. We pray that this continues to be the case." Mulholland stated. In Holmdel, parents can expect more communications from the district on their efforts to keep students and staff safe.
Schillachi shared further guidance in his email. "The MCDOH will facilitate the contact tracing process to identify anyone who may be at risk for exposure. If you are contacted, we respectfully request your full cooperation.The health and safety of the Holmdel school community is paramount. As always, we urge you to continue social distancing and practice good hygiene procedures that can reduce the risk of illness. We know these are trying times for everyone, but we must do our part to keep all of us safe and healthy. I will keep you informed if there are any new developments related to this situation." wrote Schillachi.
Holmdel schools have invested approximately 1.5 Million in COVID-19 related protection and prevention strategies this year in an effort to allow students to resume normal educational and extracurricular activities to the best extent possible while following the guidance of the Monmouth County Department of Health. These measures have been considered to be a model for other districts to follow. Many students are still at home, fully remote, in opther New Jersey districts who have not prepared accordingly for a pandemic that started impacting school back in March of 2020.