Dear Deer Park Families -
This week, we saw an increase in positive COVID cases throughout our school district. With the increase in positive COVID cases, the number of close contacts within our school buildings has begun to increase significantly as well. As part of the new requirements from Hamilton County Public Health, students who are close contacts within a school setting are permitted to stay at school as long as they wear a mask. As you can imagine, we have many students, especially at our Jr/Sr High School level, who are now required to wear a mask.
In conjunction with the increase of positive COVID cases stemming from the Omicron variant, we have also seen many cases of the flu, strep throat, colds, etc. The combination of all of these viruses has not only caused many students to miss school over the past week, but it has put a significant strain on our ability to adequately staff our classrooms, lunchrooms, and offices. You have seen similar circumstances play out all throughout the tri-state over the past week with the closure of schools and schools being forced to transition to remote learning for a period of time.
During my Friday update today with Hamilton County Public Health officials, their forecast shows that we should be seeing the peak of Omicron over the next two weeks before we begin to hopefully see what is expected to be a sharp decline in the number of COVID cases.
Considering all of the factors that I have just discussed and in an effort to slow the spread of COVID over the next two weeks so we can ensure in-person schooling without a disruption to our services, I have made the decision to implement a temporary mask mandate for all staff, students, and visitors in Deer Park Schools effective Tuesday, January 18th through Friday, January 28th. This mandate will be in effect at all times while in a Deer Park Schools facility. Please note that our supply of masks within Deer Park Schools is becoming limited, so we ask all families that can provide masks to their children to please do so.
Finally, I have one other piece of information from my Friday meeting with Hamilton County Public Health that I believe is important to share with all of you. Hamilton County Public Health stated that of all of the patients that are currently in the hospital with COVID-19, 95.2% of them are unvaccinated. This is important because while those with the vaccine can still get COVID, the vaccines are doing a great job of keeping the symptoms mild and keeping people out of the hospital. So the message from Hamilton County Public Health continues to be to get vaccinated.
Below you will find our weekly COVID dashboard. As a reminder, if you are feeling sick in any way, please stay home. If you have symptoms of COVID, please make sure to get tested so you can ensure isolation from others if you are positive with the COVID virus. You can find testing sites at testandprotectcincy.com. Tests are now readily available and are free at the testing sites listed on testandprotectcincy.com. It is important to note that if you go to an urgent care to test, they will give you an antigen test and that will cost you money.
I hope everyone is able to get some rest and recover over the long holiday weekend and we will see you back at school on Tuesday, January 18th.
All student COVID-19 cases occurring outside of school hours (evenings/weekends) should be submitted in one of the following ways:
- Call the Deer Park COVID Hotline at (513) 936-7843
- Fill our the Deer Park COVID Reporting Form linked below:
A district nurse or administrator will reach out within 24 hours of the reported case to collect further details.
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