December 3, 2021
Dear Smithfield Staff and Families,
This 15th edition of the Back to School report includes our weekly report on COVID cases, learning from outbreaks, omicron variant, vaccination status and quarantines, pediatric vaccination clinic reminder, and town data.
A Weekly Report on COVID Cases
We have had an additional 44 confirmed COVID cases since the last Back to School report on November 19th for a total of 150 cases recorded since our school year began. There were six student cases and two staff cases identified at SHS, fifteen cases identified at Gallagher, ten cases at Pleasant View Elementary, seven student and one staff cases at LaPerche Elementary and three cases at Old County Road Elementary.
Learning from Outbreaks
Each week, the news reports on an outbreak at a school or community. These outbreaks often result from a social event - a birthday party, for instance, or from a large gathering - a homecoming dance or concert. These situations remind us that we continue to be susceptible to virus spread and should remain conscientious about our practices. We all want to see an end to this pandemic and all have a role to play to achieve that goal.
New Variant - Omicron
An additional COVID-19 variant, omicron, has been identified and is known to be in the United States. Officials are working to identify the health risks and transmissibility for this virus as well to determine the viability of the current vaccine. We will continue to work with local medical experts and the RIDOH to monitor this situation and will use their guidance to make sound decisions regarding our district response.
Vaccination Status and Quarantine
A person is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after they have completed their vaccine schedule (two doses for Pfizer or Moderna, or one dose of J&J). After the 14 days, a person will no longer be required to quarantine if exposed to an individual who is COVID-positive. Being fully vaccinated does not prevent a person from getting COVID, however, it protects the individual from serious illness and hospitalization. We ask that regardless of vaccination status, you continue to follow disease prevention guidance to protect yourself, your family, and our larger school community.
Pediatric Dose Vaccine Clinic Reminder
A reminder that there is a vaccination clinic scheduled for Sunday, December 5th from 10:00am to 2:pm at Smithfield High School. This clinic will be offering the pediatric dose Pfizer vaccine (5-11 years) only. This will be the second dose for our previous clinic, but first doses for this age category are also available. Appointments can be made at SHS Pfizer Pediatric Clinic.
The number of weekly new cases in Smithfield for the week ending November 27th rose to 60 cases from 33 for the week ending November 13th while the number of cases in the state rose nearly 33% over the same time period. The town rate corresponds to a weekly rate of 273 new cases per 100,000 residents, which is considered a high rate of transmission as classified by the CDC. This data is available at https://bit.ly/2PxCgDM.
Judy Paolucci, Superintendent