Teachers union calls for N.J. district with 12 coronavirus cases, 80 kids in quarantine to go remote –

A Gloucester County school district where 12 COVID-19 cases were reported in the last week should go remote to prevent the further spread of the virus, the president of the local teachers union said.

The Clearview Regional High School District in Mullica Hill has seen 11 students and one staff member test positive for coronavirus over the past week, with over 80 students being forced to quarantine, Paul Sommers, president of the Clearview Education Association, said in a letter sent to the county health department Monday.

The students in self-isolation are those who participate in extra-curricular activities, including the varsity football team and junior varsity cheerleading team, and who are considered close contacts of people who tested positive, Sommers said in his letter.

Sommers wrote to the Gloucester County Health Department saying the union is concerned there has not been a change to the hybrid model given the number of cases. Hybrid learning in the district of about 2,200 students began on Sept. 8.

“We are HIGHLY concerned with twelve new positive cases being reported in one week with no change to the current hybrid model. In fact, after speaking with our nursing staff and administration, they’ve stated that they ask the Gloucester County Department of Health each time whether the district should close (even briefly), and the answer to date has been ‘stay open,’” the letter reads.

The health department and school district superintendent did not immediately return a request for comment.

There have been more than 25 positive cases in the district and more than 300 students and staff forced to quarantine since schools reopened in the fall , Sommers said.

Several school districts have recently decided to delay a return or switch to in-person instruction as the number of coronavirus cases throughout the state spikes.

Woodbridge School District, one of the largest in the state, is switching to all-remote learning next week and continuing for at least seven weeks after 63 students and staffers in schools tested positive for the coronavirus since Oct. 12. Mount Olive School District also announced it would keep kids out of the classrooms seven days a week amid the statewide surge of COVID-19.

The state on Tuesday announced 4,060 more coronavirus cases and 38 deaths, the highest number of fatalities reported in one day since July 11.

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Avalon Zoppo may be reached at Follow her on Twitter @AvalonZoppo.

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