In-person instruction was shut down Friday at Morristown High School out of “an abundance of caution,” according to the county official who recommended it.
“Out of an abundance of caution, we recommended that the school district consider shutting down in-person classes for 10 days after several students tested positive for COVID-19, and the district chose to follow that recommendation,” Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez told Morristown Green in a statement on Friday.
On Thursday afternoon, MHS Principal Mark Manning informed parents and students that the school community had seen an increase in COVID cases “numbering at least 10,” and in-person classes would be halted until Nov. 22, 2021, “as per the direction of the local health department.”
Morristown contracts with the county for its health services, an arrangement that ends next month, said town Administrator Jillian Barrick.
In-person extracurriculars including sports also have been suspended at the high school. The school’s fall drama, Harvey, has been rescheduled to Dec. 3-5. Classes are being conducted virtually.
Manning did not respond Friday to an email seeking comment about the shutdown. A call to Morris School District Interim Superintendent Thomas Ficarra was referred to the district’s spokesperson, Jennifer van Frank, who did not respond.
We’ll update this story with any response from school officials.
Meanwhile, the district on Friday announced that, based on direction of the local health department, it was re-imposing federal COVID-19 protocols for international travelers who are not fully vaccinated.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advises such individuals not to travel internationally.
Members of the school community in that category who do so over the holidays must have a COVID-19 viral test 3-5 days after travel; stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel, even if they test negative at 3-5 days; or stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel, the district said on its website.
The district also recommends that children ages 5-11 get COVID vaccinations. Zufall Health Centers at 4 Atno Ave. will hold a vaccine clinic for children this Saturday, Nov. 13, from 8 AM-noon. Appointments also can be made with Atlantic Health, ShopRite, CVS, Walgreen’s and RiteAid.
Vaccinations are free, and immigration status will not be asked, the district said.