Color coding system and breaking down counties by regions: DOH releases coronavirus guidelines for schools

The state Department of Health has released its coronavirus guidelines for schools, breaking down counties by regions and using a color coding system for risk level.

News 12 Staff

Aug 14, 2020, 2:44 PM

Updated 1,337 days ago

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The state Department of Health has released its coronavirus guidelines for schools, breaking down counties by regions and using a color coding system for risk level.
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The guidelines include: cleaning and disinfecting daily, having hand sanitizer available, reducing the number of students in classrooms, adding partitions, and wearing masks. The DOH is also rolling out a plan to keep different parts of the state up to date.
"Understanding that COVID-19 may impact certain areas of the state differently, the department will provide data by six regions of the state to inform local decisions,” says Health Commissioner Judith Persichilli.
The regions break down as followed: The Northwest, made up of Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren counties. The Northeast, made up of Bergen, Essex and Hudson counties. The Central West, made up of Hunterdon, Mercer and Somerset counties. The Central East, made up of Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean and Union counties. The Southwest, made up of Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties. The Southeast, made up of Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties.
"I personally don't think it's going to work because our state is so populated," says Jenna Grobelny, of Spotswood.
Every week, the DOH will provide information to each of the regions and categorize risk with a color coding system: Green represents low risk, yellow is moderate, orange is high, and red is very high. An outbreak in one area may not affect another area, so this allows local decisions to be made.
If or when regions reach the red, its recommended they go to full remote learning. The category a region falls in will be based on the number of cases, positivity percentage and syndromic surveillance in the past week.
"I am totally against it,” says Robert Amporful, of South Amboy. “I have already decided my kids are not going to school, they're going to be home-schooled until at least they get a vaccine.”
School districts can still request to start the year with no in-person classes if they can't meet the state's guidelines to keep students and staff safe.


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