There have been a few reported cases of COVID-19 in New Providence students recently. The numbers are not overly alarming, but any cases at all are bound to cause some concern. This can lead students and teachers to wonder what the District has been doing about these cases.
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Miceli is confident that the District is well prepared to handle the current circumstances: “What really makes our hybrid school system successful is the social distancing and everyone wearing masks. Even when we were not required to, by the state, we were still doing it. We also encourage people to wear masks and social distance outside of school.”
NPHS/MS nurse Anne Berardi also reminds us that “students must remember that wearing a mask and staying 6 feet apart or more is an effective strategy to stay safe. If a student tests positive for COVID then all of their close contacts would have to be quarantined for 14 days.”
Freshman student Taylor Mezzacca seems to be following the District’s guidelines: “I am cautious around people I don’t know and don’t see often. I hangout with friends but those are the only other people I usually see besides neighbors and family.”
Her opinion on the hybrid school system is that it is effective in keeping out COVID and is working well for students. In addition, she says that she is not as concerned about the COVID cases that have been discovered in the District because they are limited and do not appear to be connected to each other.
When asked if the cases appearing came as a surprise to her, she claimed, “The cases don’t really surprise me because people are less cautious now and we see more people in a day by going to school.”
Teachers are more likely, however, to be worried about the COVID virus because most of them are closer to the age range at risk, and the future is still uncertain. Nurse Berardi admits that it is difficult to predict when we will be able to resume a normal schedule.
“Since new information comes out from the CDC regularly, it is difficult to estimate,” she says.
In addition, when asked if he thought sports were a main contributor to the spread of the disease, Miceli said, “You would think they’re a risk, because of all the people and the contact, but that’s actually not the case. We have been very successful in keeping COVID out of sports and are hoping to continue doing so. What’s more worrisome is winter sports, because they take place inside.”