Dear Smithfield Staff and Families,
This 46th edition of the Return to School report includes our weekly report on COVID cases, town data, and information on mask-wearing, the virtual option, a drive through vaccination clinic, and remaining diligent.
A Weekly Report on COVID Cases
McCabe Elementary School and Smithfield High School each had one new case while our other schools reported no new cases this week. This brings our total number of cases to 360 since the start of the school year.
As of June 2, 2021, students and staff do not need to wear masks outdoors, including while playing youth sports, at outdoor graduations or proms, or at recess. The state lists exceptions for areas with substantial or high transmission when in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact (less than 6 feet apart for more than 15 minutes over a 24-hour period with other people who are not fully vaccinated). With town numbers dropping to below 5 new cases last week, we do not have substantial or high transmission rates. In the upcoming weeks, we’ll monitor new cases so that principals can make determinations for mask wearing for special events.
At this time, there are no changes to indoor masking guidance, including school settings and school bus settings. We are seeing some secondary students without their masks on while on the bus. Please remind students that they must wear a mask on the bus.
When numbers drop, it’s easy to throw all caution to the wind, however, we have a responsibility to our school community to keep students as safe as possible while at school. We are encouraging teachers to “take it outside” whenever possible but while indoors, social distancing and mask wearing is expected. We are bringing back some end-of-year events, however, we want to limit the number of unvaccinated persons that come into contact with our students. Principals have been asked to limit the number of volunteers and to require that volunteers be vaccinated.
Drive Through Vaccination Clinic
In an effort to reach anyone who has not yet gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, the Town of Smithfield and Fidelity Investments is hosting the State’s first-ever public drive-through vaccination clinic on Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Fidelity Investments parking garage located at 100 Salem St., in Smithfield.
Attendees can get either a first or second dose of Pfizer vaccine, and anyone age 12 or older can get vaccinated. Anyone who has already received a first dose of Pfizer vaccine must be sure it has been at least 21 days since their first dose. This clinic is open to Rhode Islanders and people who live in other states or may be visiting. Appointments are recommended, but they are not required. To schedule an appointment, go online or call 401-222-8022.
No Virtual Option for 2021-2022
The governor announced that school districts will not be required to offer a virtual option for the 2021-2022 school year.
In the past four weeks, new COVID cases in Smithfield dropped from 32 to 24 to 12 then to less than five this past week. This corresponds to a daily rate of less than 1 new case per 21,650 residents, or less than 5 per 100,000. This data is available at https://bit.ly/2PxCgDM.
Judy Paolucci, Superintendent