Dear Smithfield Staff and Families,
This 4th edition of the Back to School report includes our weekly report on COVID cases, information regarding vaccination rates in Smithfield school, testing for close contacts, travel guidance, and town data.
A Weekly Report on COVID Cases
We are aware of 2 staff members and one student who are currently infected with the virus. These three will be the start of our official count as we begin the new school year.
Vaccination Rates for Eligible Students at SHS & GMS
The percentage of eligible students that have been fully vaccinated is 47.8% at GMS and 63.3% at SHS. The percentage across the state for all eligible individuals is 65.3%. We encourage all families to consider vaccination for their eligible children. Not only does vaccination protect the individual from serious illness, but it also slows the spread of COVID in the community, reduces the numbers of quarantines, and contributes toward an end to the pandemic. To register to be vaccinated at one of the State-run sites, visit VaccinateRI.org. You can also register at the next Smithfield clinic, which will be held on Saturday, September 11th, from 8am to noon, at SHS. Use this link to register: https://www.vaccinateri.org/appointment/en/reg/8612609529
Testing of All Close Contacts
One of the changes instituted by RIDOH this year is that testing is now required for ALL close contacts, regardless of vaccination status, in accordance with Executive Order 21-94. Unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine if they don’t meet an exemption and must get tested immediately after being identified as a close contact and, if negative, get tested again five to seven days after last exposure or immediately if symptoms develop during quarantine. They also should continue monitoring symptoms for 14 days after exposure. Fully vaccinated individuals must get tested three to five days after the date of exposure and wear a mask in public, indoor settings for 14 days.
There is currently no mandate regarding quarantines following travel. What we ask our families to do is to consider the relative risk of their travel plans and consider voluntary quarantines, if applicable. For example, traveling out of state for a hiking trip is certainly a lower risk activity than traveling to a state where COVID is running rampant for a concert. Please consider that we all are members of the Smithfield community and our actions may affect the health and safety of other members of our community.
Last week, the number of new COVID cases in Smithfield remained fairly steady at 29 as did the state’s figure at 1912 (from 1918 last week). The town rate corresponds to a daily rate of 4.1 new cases per 22,000 residents, or about 18.8 per 100,000. This is considered substantial transmission. This data is available at https://bit.ly/2PxCgDM.
Judy Paolucci, Superintendent