With a long weekend for Verona students this weekend because of the annual teachers convention and Verona High School students set to return to their building on Monday, the Verona school district has issued a reminder to families and staff that they will need to quarantine for 14 days and not come to school if they travel to any of the states on New Jersey’s travel advisory list. As of Wednesday, November 4, there were 43 states and U.S. jurisdictions on the list.
“Voluntary travel to any of the states on the list resulting in staff quarantine would be severely disruptive to the district, and could result in closure, undoing much of what we have worked to achieve,” Superintendent Dr. Rui Dionisio said in the email. “Accordingly, our school district has already reminded our faculty that it is incumbent upon them to avoid all non-essential travel at this time. I firmly believe that this shared sacrifice is the only way to ensure that we, as a school district, are able to continue to ensure the educational needs of our students are met.”
VHS students are the last students to get some in-person instruction, although sessions even now, not all students will be back in buildings every day. Verona began the school year with just pre-K, kindergarten and first grade students in their buildings in small groups. In mid-October, Verona decided to bring additional groups of students back into buildings, which was sooner than the district had thought possible.
Verona schools have reported four COVID-19 cases at H.B. Whitehorne middle school and one each at Forest and Laning elementary schools. Citing health privacy rules, the district has not said whether these cases were students or teachers. All teachers have been teaching from their classrooms since the start of the school year, even while students were remote.
As of Friday, November 6, there have been 220 positive COVID-19 cases reported in Verona since the start of the pandemic, up from 162 on October 1. That is an increase of almost 36%.