OCS COVID-19 Metrics Monitoring Task Force Update

As we enter our fifth week of learning, we want to remind everyone that we are committed to returning to the classroom when it is safe to do so. The OCS Board of Education requested the development of a task force to collaborate in conjunction with the Orange County Health Department to make recommendations to the Board based on data regarding when we will shift from Plan C: Remote Learning to Plan B: Hybrid (in-person and remote learning). The Orange County Health Department provides COVID-19 data to the OCS COVID-19 Metrics Monitoring Task Force so they can make data-driven recommendations to the Orange County Board of Education regarding the following 4 metrics:

1. Daily Case Count: the number of lab-confirmed cases in Orange County

2. Cumulative Case Count: trend over a three-week period

3. Trends in Types of COVID-like Illnesses: COVID-19, Influenza, etc. during this time period in Orange County

4. Percent of Positive Tests — The percent of positive tests by ZIP Code will not be used as the total number of tests by ZIP Code has not been released by either the Orange County Health Department or the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

The Task Force will take other factors into consideration when making recommendations to the Board of Education including, but not limited to: holidays, seasons, demographics and travel, clusters, household contacts, and feedback from Orange County Schools’ families and staff. It is important to note that the Task Force does not make the final decision about moving from Plan C: Remote Learning to Plan B: Hybrid (in-person and remote learning). The decision to move from Plan C to Plan B will be made by the Orange County Board of Education.

The Task Force’s next meeting to review the data is September 25. At the September 28 OCS Board of Education meeting, the OCS COVID-19 Metrics Monitoring Task Force will make a recommendation to the Board of Education for the next 9 weeks of school.

Orange County Schools established a return to school campaign in early August. We want to return to school. Our return to the classroom depends on data and the community. We continue to utilize our social media platforms and school marquees to promote the 3W’s — Wash your hands. Wait at a distance of 6 feet. Wear a mask. We need the community’s support to reopen our facilities.

If you have any questions, please contact Jason Johnson, Executive Director of Student Services and School Achievement and Chair of the OCS COVID-19 Metrics Monitoring Task Force at jason.johnson@orange.k12.nc.us or (919) 732–8126 ext. 17501.