Transcript: 1.15 News Video

Hi everyone. I’m Sam Rolens with your weekly news for Santa Cruz City Schools. And in January 2022, news means COVID updates for us the same way it does for anyone else talking about news.

So we begin with a quick reminder: this is hard. It’s annoying. It’s disheartening. Handling it with grace doesn’t mean not being angry. Or tired. Or fed up. If you weren’t, that would be concerning.

And like I said, it’s a reminder because you know this but if you’re feeling like this, your student probably is too. And it’s worth reminding them that it’s okay to be tired or fed up. If you need support for anxiety or behavioral health, ask for it. And if you don’t know where to start, send me an email. There’s a lot of support in the school system for families.

With cases up in our community, state, country and planet, we wanted to thank every family who has signed up for screening testing. We have identified a lot of cases that way and been able to limit those exposures on campus. We appreciate so much everyone who has shown that responsibility and care for your school community.

It is by that cooperative effort that we are able to keep schools safe and open. Because we have, of course, seen an uptick in cases which means an uptick in exposures which means it’s important that we all work together.

We have re-worked our COVID resource page somewhat to (hopefully) provide easier answers to the most common questions about what do if my student seems to be getting sick, what to do if they’re exposed at school, exposed at home, or have tested positive.

Please have a look at link number one. This is where we will lay out the sometimes confusing procedures that we’re obliged to follow in the event of symptoms, exposures or positives.

These rules have changed before and may change again so we’re trying to keep things simple and up to date so you can always check. Of course your school will have these answers if you need them, but feel free to check here first because most people working at your school are likely going to have a lot on their plate for a bit.

The county has also set up an email and phone number where you can reach out with questions. That info will be here on this page, and you can always find that along with locations and times for the drive-up testing clinics at link number 2.

Next week, because we won’t have on-campus testing on Monday for the holiday, students who have been notified of exposure and are not vaccinated will need to test twice during the week to stay in class. So, if your school has a normal testing clinic on Monday, you will either need to go to one of the now 4 county testing drive-through clinics (link number 2) or will be tested on Tuesday by Inspire if you’re in middle and high schools or by school staff if you’re in elementary.

We’re happy and grateful to be able to provide tests, and masks, vaccines, and open doors. And for the reminder that when we all work together, we can do anything.

Finally, in the more general COVID outlook, some epidemiologists are looking at the rate of infection around the country and seeing hopeful signs that omicron may start receding soon… but nobody knows for sure. What we do know is that this wave, like the previous waves, is hitting the unvaccinated a lot harder than the vaccinated. Please, if you haven’t yet, consider getting your shot or your booster to help us keep schools safe and open.

Take any time you can this long weekend to rest. And as we as a community, state, culture reflect on Monday on the enduring and defining legacy of Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. remember his advice: “we must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.”

See you next week.

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