As COVID outbreaks increase in New Jersey schools, another district has moved students to remote learning.

16 positive COVID cases among students and staff have been confirmed at the Myron Powell Elementary School in Lawrence Township, Cumberland County. School officials have announced a remote learning schedule until at least October 12. The outbreak is likely bigger than the number of positive tests reported, as results have not yet been received on a number of other individuals.

In a letter to parents, Shelley Magan, Chief School Administrator, said the Cumberland County Health Department recommended the elementary school be closed for the following reasons:

  • Large Community Spread: Our region has the highest case rate
  • Low Vaccination Rate: Cumberland County has one of the lowest rates despite having a high number of vaccination sites per capita
  • Delay in testing results: Depending on where someone is tested, results are taking 5 days or longer. This also delays contact tracing and timely quarantining of students/staff.
  • We have 16 confirmed positive cases among our students and staff AND are waiting for multiple test results.

Governor Phil Murphy insisted on a return to fill-time in-class instruction for the new school year that begin just a few weeks ago. He has insisted there would be no remote learning option, with the exception of an outbreak.

The New Jersey Department of health defines an "outbreak" as three or more cases transmitted between non-related students and staff.

According to the state's COVID dashboard, there have already been 23 outbreaks in New Jersey schools and more than 100 cases among students and staff.

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