- Oklahoma City Public Schools
10/9/2020 Message from McDaniel: Weekly COVID-19 Update
OKCPS Families and Staff,
Today's reporting from the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) indicates that the cases per 100,000 for Oklahoma County are 20.7 for this week, as compared to 22.6 last week. This means we are still in Orange Level 1 according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education’s (OSDE) Covid Alert Map.
While we hope that numbers continue to trend downward, we know our state may be faced with a fluctuation between Orange Alert Level 1 and 2 for the foreseeable future. And, for this reason, we announced last week that OKCPS believes it is more appropriate and consistent to make any significant instructional changes for our district at the OSDE Red Alert level.
This means that the items below would only halt if Oklahoma County were to transition into OSDE’s Red Alert Level and/or if we were to see a significant change to some of our other data points:
- Continuation of High School athletics and extracurricular activities
- Continuation of 90-minute (optional) curricular and co-curricular afterschool activities
- In-person instruction for students with special needs who were in a self-contained classroom will resume Monday, October 19 on a 4 days a week, 4 hours a day schedule (This is the same schedule that was used when these students returned to in-person learning on September 8)
- All district staff will return to full time schedule of 5 days a week in-person on Monday, October 19, and the OKCPS Children in the Workplace program will also resume on Monday, October 19
- Move forward with our plan to welcome our Alternative Education students at Putnam Heights, Emerson North and Emerson South, back to in-person learning in an A/B setting on Monday, October 19
- Move forward with our plan to welcome our remaining 1st - 12th grade students back for in-person learning in an A/B setting on Monday, November 9.
- Please note that this will include all of our Newcomer students (new to the United States) as we have made the decision to delay their return to the A/B setting until Monday, November 9 instead of October 26.
We are especially pleased that because we remained at the Orange Level 1 this week, OKCPS will be able to move forward with our plan to welcome our Pre-K and Kindergarten students back for in-person learning in an A/B setting after Fall Break on Monday, October 19. It is important to note, however, that like the other items listed above this would be delayed until November 9 if Oklahoma County were to move to the Red Alert Level next week on October 16 and/or if we were to see a significant change to some of our other data points.
OKCPS COVID Reporting
Each Friday, OKCPS will report the number of “self-reported” positive COVID-19 cases, along with the number of individuals who have been asked to quarantine due to potential exposure to the virus.
“Close Contact” Exposure refers to the number of cases when a staff member or student was in “close contact” with a person who has tested positive for COVID and has been asked to quarantine. “Close contact” as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention occurs when an individual is within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days (or 48 hours) before the infected person’s diagnosis.
Self-Reported Positive Cases refers to the number of cases when a staff member or student has notified OKCPS of positive results from a COVID-19 test.
*Report covers cases from the previous Friday through the close of business on Thursday.
Even though our number of cases per 100,000 went down this week, we expect to see continuing fluctuation in Oklahoma County. It is extremely important that everyone remain vigilant and follow all safety protocols outlined by the district and other public health agencies. These measures are in place to protect you and the health and safety of those around you and should be followed at all times.
As a reminder, all school buildings and offices will be closed next week. However, our district offices will be open. Students should log in on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday for learning as our teachers provide instruction and support from home. Then, students will have Thursday and Friday off for Fall Break. If families need support next week while school buildings are closed, they can call 58-STUDY (587-8839) for academic support or 587-HELP (4357)for technical support. And don’t forget our curbside meal services will only be available Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of next week.
As always, the health and safety of our students and staff is our priority and we are grateful for your continued flexibility and patience.
I will update you again next Friday. In the meantime, please stay safe, everyone.
Dr. Sean McDaniel