(KITV) DOH releases new guidance to help schools safely transition between learning models

(SOURCE: KITV)

Monday, the state Department of Health (DOH) released updated guidance to elementary, middle and high schools in order to help school administrators make decisions to safely transition between different models of learning.

Monday, the state Department of Health (DOH) released updated guidance to elementary, middle and high schools in order to help school administrators make decisions to safely transition between different models of learning.

Click here to view the DOH’s guidance.

“The core considerations for schools, the measures schools must take to prevent spread of disease, have not changed and remain the most important part of any school’s preparations to open for in-person learning and their response to COVID-19,” said Dr. Sarah Kemble, acting state epidemiologist. “Our guidance on what learning model area complexes should adopt is still based on disease transmission rates and the ability of schools to respond to COVID-19.”

DOH says updated reopening thresholds for schools align with reopening plans for Honolulu and Kaua‘i, apply recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and were approved by Gov. David Ige.

“The new reopening thresholds are based on two consecutive seven-day averages of daily new case rates and testing percent positivity by island, a shift from the prior thresholds which were based on a single cumulative 14-day average,” the DOH stated. “By using the seven-day daily average per 100,000 population, the measures can be compared more easily with trend charts of case rates by county and island that are updated daily on our website and can be tracked alongside weekly county reopening measures.”

The learning model thresholds derived from the preceding two seven-day cycles are available to view here. They’re updated each Wednesday at noon.

The website also includes new information and upgrades:

  • Cases in the past 14 days;
  • Cases per 100,000 population in the past 14 days;
  • Tests per 100,000 population in the past 14 days;
  • Test percent positivity in the past 14 days;
  • For all maps, cases based on date of report instead of date of symptom onset or specimen collection, as previously reported;
  • Option to view daily case counts trend line curve by island in addition to by county; and
  • Option to view case rate curves by island in addition to county.

As a result of the new guidance, the following data is no longer posted on the website:

  • Cases in the past 28 days
  • Cases per 10,000 population in the past 28 days
  • Total cases
  • Total cases per 10,000 population
  • Tests per 10,000 population in the past 28 days

KITV4 received a response from the Department of Education on Monday saying, “It will review the updated guidance to understand the impact on the transition between school models, safety guidelines, and procedures for COVID-19 cases involving the Hawai’i Department of Education staff and students.”

At this time no changes are scheduled for the second quarter.

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