November 24, 2020
After receiving a COVID-19 update for the county, I would like to share the current situation with our families and stakeholders. Over the last three days, there have been 84 new cases confirmed, our PCR percent positivity stands at 26.4% and the incident rate is up to 591 per 100,000. These numbers place Juniata County among the highest in the state for COVID-19 transmission risk. In addition, the county has been in the “Substantial Level of Community Transmission” status for three weeks, and we are anticipating remaining in the substantial category next week as well. The information above and the rate of spread our county is currently experiencing is concerning and requires the school district to make adjustments to our previous return to in-person learning plans.
Based on the above data and the most recent guidance from the Governor’s office and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), it is clear that we cannot open our schools for in-person instruction on December 1st. The guidance from the Governor and DOH indicate that we should remain in virtual learning until the transmission rate substantially slows and the county returns to a “Moderate Level of Community Transmission” for two weeks in a row. In order to achieve this goal, we are making the unfortunate decision to remain in virtual only learning until January 4th. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and reopen our schools for in-person learning as soon as it is safe to do so.
Dr. Gary Dawson
Juniata County School District