School reports 11 new cases of coronavirus

Milford. There is light at the end of the pandemic tunnel. But just this week, Pike County saw its second-worst day in its number of new cases.

| 25 Mar 2021 | 10:08

Eleven new cases of coronavirus have been reported in Delaware Valley School District since March 20.

Superintendent of schools John Bell sent a letter to parents and guardians on March 22 with the news. The cases are distributed as follows:

● Dingman-Delaware Primary School — 3

● Delaware Valley Elementary School — 2

● Delaware Valley Middle School — 2

● Delaware Valley High School — 3

● Other — 1

“The classrooms and spaces used by the individuals have been cleaned and disinfected according to CDC guidelines,” Bell says in his letter. “All close contacts have been notified.”

Students attending Delaware Valley Middle School transitioned to all-remote learning on March 23, 24, and 25, with a return to campus expected on Friday.

Students attending Dingman-Delaware Elementary School and Dingman-Delaware Primary School are currently all learning remotely and were expected to return to school on Thursday.

All other schools will remain open, Bell said.

Social activity ramps up

Pike’s residents and visitors are suffering from pandemic fatigue. With vaccinations ramping up and the end of the pandemic in sight, many are letting down their guard.

But Covid-19 still has plenty of room to wreak havoc. Pike County’s second-worst day of the pandemic happened just this week: the 48 new cases reported on Tuesday exceeds only the 56 new cases reported on Jan. 5, the peak aftermath of the holidays.

More people have been going out to bars and restaurants. The parking lots of several restaurants in Pike and Orange counties were filled to overflowing last weekend, which enticed people out and about with its lovely spring weather. Indoor dining capacity in Pennsylvania is furthermore set to increase, from 50% now to 75% on April 4.

However, the Centers for Disease Control says restaurants and bars are prime avenues for community spread, including to nursing homes and schools. The CDC says a recent study found that “adults with positive Covid-19 test results were twice as likely to have reported dining at a restaurant than those with negative Covid-19 test results.”

Sussex County, N.J., recently brought levels down to a relatively safe phase but are now in a red phase, the next-to-highest level. This has caused schools to retrench, dismantling plans to give students a “normal” end to the school year.

How to visit a restaurant or bar safely
While the safest way to enjoy and support restaurants and bars is to take out food and eat it at home with people who live with you, there are ways that you can go to a restaurant and bar and still reduce your risk of getting and spreading Covid-19.
Check the restaurant’s or bar’s Covid-19 prevention practices before you go.
Check if outdoor seating is available and if options allow groups to be at least 6 feet apart from one another. If a tent is set-up outdoors, make sure that at least one side is open or rolled up. An enclosed tent is like eating indoors.
Avoid busy times of day or night. It’s safest to visit when fewer people are at the restaurant or bar.
Check the restaurant or bar’s website and social media to see if you feel comfortable with their Covid-19 safety guidelines. Guidelines should require both staff and patrons to wear masks while not eating or drinking. Check if menus are available online or via app for safer ordering. Call if the posted information is unclear or if you have questions.
Find out if valet parking is required or if you can self-park. If valet is the only option, it’s best to leave your windows open and let your car air out for at least 15 minutes after the valet returns your car to you.
Eat outdoors, if possible. You are less likely to get or spread Covid-19 during outdoor activities. Look for seating options that are outside and have proper ventilation of outdoor air, such as tents that have open doors or rolled up sides.
Wear masks at all times, both indoors and outdoors, except when you are actively eating or drinking. Masks help protect both you and those around you.
Avoid crowds and sit at tables spaced at least 6 feet apart from people you don’t live with, both indoors and outdoors. If you are standing, stay at least 6 feet apart from those who do not live with you.
Limit alcohol consumption. Consuming alcohol may make you less likely to follow Covid-19 safety measures.
Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating and when exiting the restaurant or bar. If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Ask for individual condiment and salt and pepper packets, as the condiments on the table may not be cleaned between patrons.
Minimize the time you spend in the restaurant or bar. The longer you stay, the more you increase your risk.
Source: Centers for Disease Control: