Camas, WA — Camas schools are slowly — and methodically — opening up campuses to in-person learning amid a growing county and statewide spike of COVID-19 cases, said Superintendent, Dr. Jeff Snell today.
“We continue to use remote learning as our primary learning delivery model while serving small groups of students with highest needs in person,” said Snell. ”The number of students receiving in-person services is ranging between 250 to 350 students district-wide. Many of these students are served through special services and others have been identified with specific needs that can be addressed in person. We are also bringing in small groups of some students at the kindergarten through 2nd grade level for some assessments. Each of our schools is monitoring student engagement and identifying students with needs that might require in-person experiences, so as the weeks progress we will likely increase the number of students receiving in person services. All of these opportunities are being provided in small groups following the guidance from our state department of health.”
Snell said the district is disappointed in the continued rise of cases in the community.
“We are asking for the community’s help by continuing to follow the social distancing and mask guidelines,” Snell said. “We will be ready to start our transition to hybrid plans when our COVID levels consistently return to moderate. More details about our plan including timelines, resources, and presentations are available at http://www.camas.wednet.edu/covid-19/2020-fall-reopening/.”
Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health Director, said his team looks at data every day, and in June he recommended the county re-open to Phase 3. At that time, the county had 19.45 cases per 100,000 residents, which was in the low range, and would have permitted schools to re-open had the timing been right. As of Wednesday, there are 95.6 cases per 100,000 residents, which is in the high range, based on Washington Department of Health guidelines.
“We do look at hospitalizations and capacity and up until now, and earlier in the year that was a problem when COVID-19 activity increases in the community there is a lag time and there is a long incubation period,” Melnick said. ”It can be as long as 14 days. So one of the things I’ve shown to our Board of Health is that with kids are less likely to get sick than adults, so why are we concerned about schools? Not all kids do so well. Certainly kids can get sick, but number two the schools are not an island and kids have a congregate setting in a school. They take the infection home to their parents and grandparents. So, we have to re-open with caution. There are proper protocols that need to be followed.”