Cape May Court House- The County of Cape May Department of Health is reporting 5 new positive case among County residents and 3 new out of county positive cases that are included in the Non-resident Active Cases listed below. The County is thankful to have zero new deaths to report today.
New Jersey has 189,236 total COVID-19 positive cases and 14,114 deaths. Total positive cases of COVID-19 infection in Cape May County is now 1075 including 85 deaths.
NJDOH Guidance for Screening and Testing of Students and Staff
What measures need to be in place to identify people that have COVID-19 but do not know it because they are asymptomatic?
Asymptomatic individuals do not have symptoms that can be identified without a test. Contact tracing is designed to identify those individuals without symptoms who may have been in contact with a person with COVID-19 and who should quarantine. Per CDS guidance, if individuals have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, they should self-quarantine for 14 days from last possible exposure prior to returning.
Should school districts require daily testing of all students and staff?
No. There is no statewide policy for testing students and currently neither the CDC nor the NJ DOH recommend daily testing of students.
Should students, staff, or others who have been tested for COVID-19 attend or visit school while they await test results?
Anyone who is sick should stay home from school. Anyone who suspects they are ill and received a COVID-19 test should not attend or visit school while awaiting test results. Should the test result be negative, they should follow normal illness exclusion rules (typically 24 hours without fever before they can return to school). If a clinician has a suspicion that the illness may be COVID-19 despite a negative test, they should follow general guidance related to COVID-19 – ie, unless they were immunocompromised, they would wait at least 10 days from symptom onset and at least one day from resolution of symptoms prior to returning. If the individual should be quarantined based upon a known exposure, then they would need to wait 14 days from last possible exposure prior to returning.
What are the rules and procedures to clear an individual to return to school following a positive test result? Does a test need to come back negative?
A negative test is not necessary to return to school. CDS follows CDC guidelines, which provide that persons with COVID-19 who have symptoms and were directed to care for themselves at home may discontinue isolation under the following conditions:
At least 10 days* have passed since symptom onset, and
At least 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications, and
Other symptoms have improved.
*A limited number of persons with severe illness may produce replication-competent virus beyond 10 days that may warrant extending duration of isolation for up to 20 days after symptom onset. Consider consultation with infection control experts.
Persons infected with SARS-CoV-2 who never develop COVID-19 symptoms may discontinue isolation and other precautions 10 days after the date of their first positive RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 RNA.
Should there be a specific place at school to isolate students or staff who show symptoms of COVID-19?
Schools must identify a designated space where persons with COVID-19 symptoms can be separated from other students and staff while they wait to be picked up from school. School nurses and other healthcare providers should use Standard and Transmission-Based Precautions when caring for sick people.
If a student who has been at school is identified as having COVID, does the entire class have to be quarantined for 14 days?
As provided in CDS guidance, if individuals have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, meaning they are within 6 feet of someone for at least ten minutes, they should self-quarantine for 14 days from the date of last exposure before returning to school. In the case of a positive COVID test, local health departments, working in coordination with school districts, will conduct contact tracing to determine whether or not an individual has been in close contact with a student and advise any affected individuals, via trained contact tracers, to self-quarantine for 14 days. The local health department in coordination with the school will assess the specific circumstances of the individual with the positive test to determine those individuals that have been in close contact and need to self-quarantine – this may or may not include all students in the class.
If a student is removed from or denied access to the school building based on the screening required under Critical Area of Operation #5 in The Road Back, how should attendance for that student be marked?
In such an instance, districts should mark the student’s attendance in accordance with local attendance policy, which will depend in part on whether the student is able to participate in remote instruction on that day. District and school policies for attendance and instructional time may require modification for the 2020-2021 school year and will need to accommodate opportunities for both synchronous and asynchronous instruction, while ensuring the requirements for the 180-day school year are met. The policy will need to specify attendance procedures for students that will be participating in any combination of remote, hybrid, or in person instruction, including details on the recording of absences due to illness or attendance when a student is participating in fully remote learning.
It is important to note that contact tracing is a decades-old common practice in public health. It is not the same thing as "exposure notification" or "digital alerting" tools. These consumer apps, such as those created with Google and Apple’s API, are not contact tracing tools. These apps function as a way for the public to track if they have come into contact with a person who has tested positive and entered that information into their phone.
Stay up to date on the current situation as it evolve. Some reliable sources are New Jersey Poison Information and Education System Hotline at 211 or 1-800-962-1253, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov, World Health Organization at www.who.int, New Jersey Department of Health at COVID19.nj.gov. For additional information visit Cape May County Department of Health at www.cmchealth.net and also like us on Facebook.