Superintendent: Columbiana schools off to a great start
COLUMBIANA — The academic year at Columbiana schools has been off to a great start, according to Superintendent Don Mook.
Parents are being recognized for doing a great job not sending students to school sick. Practicing awareness has greatly reduced spread and minimized quarantines. COVID information for the district can be found on the home page under the news feed.
“With their cooperation we keep this thing at a minimum in our school,” Mook said.
Mook continued to encourage vaccinations while acknowledging they are a personal decision. He estimated vaccination rates among staff are nearly 75 percent. Students who are vaccinated or wearing masks are reducing close contact with COVID positive students.
“Vaccination becomes a personal choice,” Mook repeated.
Columbiana County Health Commissioner Wes Vins is seeking additional funding for trace contacting due to reliability issues with Public Consulting Group (PCG), which provides COVID identification, notification and containment solutions.
“In terms of PCG following up on what the nurses have sent them, in terms of close contact, it could be five days, it could be three days, it could be a week-plus. By then it could be a sit-out,” Mook said.
The school district is using a letter provided from the health department regarding quarantines. He advised once the letter is issued parents are instructed to contact the health department.
Guidelines set up last year over-identified students; however, staff members are keeping track of masked students. This practice reduces over-identifying students who have been exposed.
Columbiana Middle School Principal Jason Martin atributes low spread throughout buildings to parents keeping symptomatic students home.
“I think we have a couple students out for a couple days at a time rather than them being out for extended periods of time,” Martin said regarding increased absence rates.