Frequently Asked Questions
What sort of ventilation do we have for classrooms?
Below is an explanation as provided by Business Administrator Tom Eldridge.
“We have many different ventilation systems, but I will describe the typical classroom system since that is where most students spend their time. We recently (over the past 18 months or sooner) installed new unit ventilators in most district classrooms. These are “through-wall,” stand-alone units meaning each classroom has its own. We call these “unit ventilators” in contrast to a building-wide system that is “central,” i.e., like “central air” in a home. Due to this choice of system, there is no cross over between classrooms.
The classroom units have their own air exchange capability such that they bring in fresh air and exhaust existing air. The units are constantly “open” and exchanging air; this is completely different from a private home setting where you have no fresh air introduction or exhausting of existing air. The units do have a filter system; however, they are NOT HEPA filters. We address HEPA differently.
In each classroom, we have installed stand-alone, plug-in, HEPA filters and ionizers. The HEPA filter is designed to filter the air in our typical classroom approximately two times per hour. These look like 2.5’ tall, white towers in the classrooms. These are in addition to our unit ventilators. Teachers know to turn these on and let them run all day while the classroom is occupied.”
Please contact Tom Eldridge with questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
What is COVID-19?
Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a virus strain that has only spread in people since December 2019. Health experts are concerned because little is known about this new virus and it has the potential to cause severe illness and pneumonia in some people.
How does the virus spread?
The virus that causes COVID-19 is spreading from person-to-person. Someone who is actively sick with COVID-19 can spread the illness to others. That is why CDC recommends that these patients be isolated either in the hospital or at home (depending on how sick they are) until they are better and no longer pose a risk of infecting others.
How long someone is actively sick can vary so the decision on when to release someone from isolation is made on a case-by-case basis in consultation with doctors, infection prevention and control experts, and public health officials and involves considering specifics of each situation including disease severity, illness signs and symptoms, and results of laboratory testing for that patient.
What are the symptoms and complications that COVID-19 can cause?
Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Read about COVID-19 Symptoms.
Can the virus be spread through food, including refrigerated or frozen food?
Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread from person-to-person through respiratory droplets. Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with food. Before preparing or eating food it is important to always wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds for general food safety. Throughout the day wash your hands after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, or going to the bathroom.
It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.
In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from food products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient, refrigerated, or frozen temperatures.
Will warm weather stop the outbreak of COVID-19?
It is not yet known whether weather and temperature impact the spread of COVID-19. Some other viruses, like the common cold and flu, spread more during cold weather months but that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months. At this time, it is not known whether the spread of COVID-19 will decrease when weather becomes warmer. There is much more to learn about the transmissibility, severity, and other features associated with COVID-19 and investigations are ongoing.
Will schools be closed?
Beginning Monday, March 16, 2020, Lawrence Township Public Schools will be closed and will move to a virtual/remote learning environment. On Monday, May 4, 2020, Governor Phil Murphy announced that all New Jersey schools will remain closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year.. A decision as to when the schools will reopen will be made by the Governor and all NJ schools will open at the same time.
How will instruction continue?
Our virtual learning plan expands upon our existing practices to ensure the continuity of instruction. Teachers and students will continue to use a wide variety of learning platforms. We are well equipped to deliver instruction remotely as all students in grades 6-12 have Chromebooks issued by the district. Our teachers regularly utilize Google Classroom to deliver class resources/activities and assessments. Home instruction resources for grades K-6 will be posted on our website.
All information in these FAQs taken from the National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, NJ Department of Education, NJ Department of Health websites and district emails.