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Red Community Risk Dial no longer means automatic remote learning for NPPS students and staff

West Central District Health Department’s Community Risk Dial
West Central District Health Department’s Community Risk Dial(WCCHD)
Published: Oct. 28, 2020 at 1:08 PM CDT
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NORTH PLATTE, Neb. (Press Release) - The North Platte Public Schools' Return to School Plan for educating students in a pandemic no longer indicates the district will automatically shift to fully remote learning if the West Central District Health Department’s Community Risk Dial moves into the red or the severe zone. The risk dial is currently in the orange, elevated risk level.

Superintendent Dr. Ron Hanson said the change, made Wednesday, updates the previously written protocols to match what has been said publicly and is more aligned with federal, state, and local health officials now know about the virus.

“After completing ten weeks of schools and the Fall activities season, we now know more about the effectiveness of face coverings, social distancing, and other safety protocols that have been successfully implemented in our schools,” Hanson stated. Dr. Hanson went on to add, “If the Community Risk Dial evaluates into the ‘red’ zone, NPPS will work with the West Central District Health Department and the Nebraska Department of Education to continue to implement plans and protocols that address the concerns in our schools. We will continue to follow recommendations from both agencies regarding how schools can continue to operate with in-person learning while continuing to control and reduce the risk of the COVID-19 spread effectively.”

NPPS officials meet weekly with the West Central District Health Department and biweekly meetings with the Education Commissioner. They have followed their guidance in keeping students and staff safe, and schools open. Using the Community Risk Factors, NPPS uses District Internal Factors, including the number of students and staff who are either quarantined or isolated weekly to determine steps that should be taken for keeping schools open.

So far, NPPS has seen no evidence of school spread. Even though the community and state have witnessed a recent increase in hospitalizations, deaths, and positive cases, the schools have kept the quarantine and positive rate low. Changes to the pandemic plans and playbooks will be launched this Friday, October 30, 2020, https://www.nppsd.org/vnews/display.v/SEC/Students%20%26%20Parents%7CCOVID-19%20Resources.

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