Dr Kevin Whitaker, Superintendent of Jamestown Public Schools, has seen the number of COVID-19 cases increase in Chautauqua County.
He doesn’t recommend any changes for the city’s school district – yet.
“I know people have seen the recent increase in COVID cases in the county and it’s definitely something we’re keeping an eye on as well,” he added. Whitaker said in a video posted to the district’s website Tuesday night.
“As I mentioned earlier, our goal is to keep the kids in school full time for as long as possible because we know it’s the best possible case for them. So we have no reason to change now. However, we are keeping an eye on things.
Whitaker directed parents and community members to a recently updated frequently asked questions page on the district’s website at jpsny.org that has more information on how the district is handling COVID-19 precautions . Among the items discussed in the recently updated guidelines is how the district handles positive COVID cases for sports and extracurricular activities.
COVID cases involving activities that take place outside of school are treated differently from cases at school, with the county health department taking the initiative to check whether members of a team or a activity are vaccinated. Asymptomatic and vaccinated students can return to school and activities once cleared by the Department of Health, but this process takes some time. Until immunization status is confirmed, the entire team or activity is shelved.
“We are working with them to help them process this information faster so that students, especially those who are vaccinated, can return to school faster. “ Whitaker said. “We asked them to allow our school staff to provide proof of the students’ vaccination, so they can return quickly. They are still working on this and I wanted to make sure everyone was up to date in case you didn’t know about sports and extracurricular activities so that you can choose to vaccinate or not based on your personal choice. .