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COVID-19: Start of school leads to discussion of virus transmission

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COVID-19: Start of school leads to discussion of virus transmission

roll@montclairlocal.news

Last week saw students return to schooling in New Jersey, whether for in-person or for virtual learning.

However, at least six school districts that had started on hybrid learning have switched to virtual learning, after those districts had students and teachers test positive for COVID-19. The news prompted a discussion of risks of transmission during Gov. Phil Murphy’s Sept. 14 press briefing.

Murphy and Ed Lifshitz, director of the communicable diseases service of the state Health Department, said the state is not aware of any reports of in-school transmission.

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When asked if the number of districts switching from hybrid to virtual was higher than expected, Murphy said the number was about what the state had anticipated.

Lifshitz said that was the reason that New Jersey had established a regional system for school districts to report COVID-19 cases.

Montclair is one of 236 districts doing virtual learning. The district decided to switch to remote learning in August after officials determined the ventilation systems in the schools needed to be upgraded.When asked about transmission risks related to dining, Murphy said that the state has not received any indication of outbreaks connected to outdoor dining. It is too early to tell whether indoor dining has led to any transmission, since indoor dining only resumed on Sept. 4, he said. However, he reiterated that outdoor dining has been deemed to have less risk of transmission of COVID-19 than indoor dining. Flu season Health Commissioner Judy Persichilli emphasized the need for residents to get flu shots, with September and October being optimal times to do so.She added that fewer than half of eligible people, both nationally and in […]

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