04-18-2021Nurse's LetterShannon David, RN, NCSN

During the 4th century B.C. Philip II of Macedon sent notice to the Spartans, “If I invade Laconia you will be destroyed, never to rise again.” Famously, the Spartan magistrates replied with a single word--”IF”.

Over the past year, we have had to deal with many “Ifs” – those terrifying predictions of future circumstances that may or may not occur, but challenge us to be prepared. Most recently, public health officials have raised concerns over the potential for another surge in COVID cases throughout Arizona, based on what is occurring in other parts of the country, and the threat posed by emerging variant strains of the coronavirus.

With regard to COVID cases in Maricopa County, there has been a small increase in the 7-day average: 423 on 04/10/21 compared to 378 cases on 03/26/21 (MCDPH Epi-Curve). Within our surrounding communities, virus spread remains “substantial”. At school, there are 0 cases of COVID and no one on quarantine. The circulation of variant strains of the virus within our state continues to be studied and monitored. The most current information and data can be viewed here: Next Strain/T-gen. Though not everything is known about these variants, what is known is that the way to slow their spread is to slow the spread of COVID. By Executive Order of the Governor (#2021-06), COVID mitigation measures transitioned from requirements to recommendations in late March. However, there has been no change made to the restrictions for schools, also established through Executive Order (#2021-04). In addition, the guidelines for isolation and quarantine for unvaccinated persons have not changed. Thus, those who are sick with COVID and those identified as close contacts (who are not fully vaccinated) still need to isolate/quarantine. This is particularly important for our junior high students. This age group is not yet eligible for immunization, but can contract and transmit the virus as easily as adults. Our vigilance, to date, is allowing for end of the year activities that were not possible last year: May crowning, the 8th grade dinner/dance and a May graduation.

By continuing to adhere to the mitigation measures outlined in our “Smart, Healthy & Holy” plan, there is less chance of COVID being brought on to campus and less chance of students needing to quarantine and miss instruction and school events. Further, IF there was to be a surge in cases of COVID or IF a variant would begin to spread more quickly, we will be well positioned to deal with it. Together, Home & School, we have overcome so much this year. IF we persevere, in 6 short weeks, we will be able to declare victory, together! St. Michael the Archangel-defend us in battle!