Dear Smithfield Staff and Families,
This 13th edition of the Back to School report includes our weekly report on COVID cases, school based surveillance testing, vaccination clinics for ages 5-11, possible revisions to our masking policy, and town data.
A Weekly Report on COVID Cases
Eleven cases were confirmed since the last Back to School Report for a total of 95 cases since the start of the school year. Three cases were identified at Gallagher, five cases were identified at Pleasant View Elementary, two cases were identified at LaPerche Elementary, and one case was identified at Old County Road Elementary. There were no new cases at SHS.
School Based Surveillance Testing is Still Available
A reminder that students can opt-in to our school-based Covid testing at any time during the school year. If you are planning travel during the holiday seasons, opting-in to our testing program can help identify possible cases before a spread occurs. The consent form is available on our district website.
Reminder: COVID Vaccination Clinic for Ages 5 - 11
Registration is now open for vaccination for 5 to 11 year olds. The Town of Smithfield clinic will be held on Saturday, November 13th (TOMORROW) from 10am to 2pm at Smithfield High School. The vaccine is the Pfizer pediatric vaccine. The link to the clinic is: https://www.vaccinateri.org/appointment/en/reg/8569550321 . A clinic for dose 2 is tentatively scheduled to be held on Sunday, December 5th at SHS. First doses will not be available at the December clinic. If you are not able to attend the clinic on Saturday, you can register for any school-based clinic state-wide, regardless of where you live. A list of all scheduled clinics is available at: covid.ri.gov/5to11vaccine. Additional information regarding the vaccine and frequently asked questions can be found on our district website under the COVID19 tab.
Even before the first vaccination clinic in Smithfield for ages 5-11, at which there are currently 253 registered, we have a number of Smithfield students already vaccinated. The following data was provided this week:
Revised Mask Policy to be Considered on Monday
A committee, consisting of administrators, teachers, and school committee members, convened on Monday to review the district’s current mask policy in light of new opportunities for vaccination for elementary students. The current policy suggests that after 2 weeks of low or moderate transmission, masks may become optional if the state mask mandate is lifted. For the new policy, masks are optional unless a state mask mandate is in effect. The recommendation from the mask committee to the school committee is to maintain the current policy until January 1st. Parents who wish their children to be vaccinated will have the time to get that done before the change in policy.
The number of weekly new cases in Smithfield for the week ending November 6th rose to 35 from 16 for the previous week. The town rate corresponds to a weekly rate of 159 new cases per 100,000 residents, which is considered a high rate of transmission as classified by the CDC. This data is available at https://bit.ly/2PxCgDM.
Judy Paolucci, Superintendent