Verona High School Principal Josh Cogdill sent out an email to high school families this morning to let them know that the winter band and choral concert is being postponed because of concerns over the Omicron variant of the COVID-19 virus. The concert was supposed to have been Wednesday, December 22, at 7:30 p.m.
Cogdill said that the high school has “listened to students and parents who have voiced their concerns regarding the Winter Concert and the new Omnicron variant of the virus. Additionally, in the last few days, we have seen members of these music groups absent from school due to quarantine or isolation.”
According to the district’s COVID dashboard, which is updated daily, there are currently 10 positive COVID cases at VHS, out of 21 district-wide, and seven VHS individuals are in quarantine, out of 34 district-wide. For privacy reasons, the district does not disclose whether those infected or quarantined are students, faculty or other staff, or what variant of COVID-19 is causing the infections. While New Jersey health officials have detected the Omicron variant, also known as B.1.1.529, New Jersey does not yet have Omicron cases broken out in its case dashboard.
Since Thanksgiving, Verona has had 187 new COVID cases, an increase of 12.3%, and the highest rate of new infections of any Essex County town. Verona also had the highest rate of new COVID infections in the county in November, at 8.3%.
Cogdill said that no decision has yet been made on when the concert will be held, or in what format. “The music department staff, in collaboration with the administration, will assess the situation after the New Year, and based on the conditions, we will decide whether a show will be in-person, recorded, or live-streamed,” he wrote.