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2.5.2021: Teacher Vaccinations and COVID-19 Updates from the Shelby County Health Department

Dear Woodland Families,

Thank you for your support and encouragement since the beginning of the school year. There is no doubt that navigating a pandemic is a community effort, and we could not do it without you. Our mission states Woodland embraces community collaboration, and there have been ample opportunities for collaboration between our parents, teachers, and the entire Woodland community.

Each week, Woodland participates in the Shelby County Health Department's weekly update conference calls. There are three specific pieces of information that we want to share with you from our last call.

First, the Memphis Association of Independent Schools (MAIS) is working to coordinate a vaccination day for school employees. While there is no date or specific time that has been shared with us, it appears that the vaccination day for school employees will be sometime within the next month. The plan and timing for this day primarily depends upon the supply of vaccines that enter Shelby County each week. It is unclear how much forewarning we will have for the date and time of the vaccination day. With that being said, it may be necessary to close school for one day to allow our employees the opportunity to be vaccinated. We realize the short notice and the closing of school for one day may be inconvenient for our families. Still, we want to ensure our employees have access to this opportunity. As information, times and dates become known we will be sure to notify all of our school families.

Secondly, is information around the recent identification of one of the new COVID variants in Shelby County. The SCHD has been clear that if a new variant is identified within a school population (it has not been identified in any school population up to this point), enhanced and more stringent mitigation strategies may be required. The SCHD has informed all schools that the necessity of these more aggressive mitigation strategies, specifically quarantines, is an effort to control the more infectious variants in Shelby County.

Lastly, the total number of cases in Shelby County and around the country are mostly on the decline, which is great news! However, we must all "stay the course" to do our part to keep our community as healthy as possible. We must continue to stay diligent with our mitigation strategies including:

-physical distancing
-face coverings
-hand hygiene
-avoiding large gatherings
-staying at home when symptoms develop
-staying home when anyone in the household is awaiting test results
-daily health checks
-COVID testing
-communication with the school health office

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to our School Nurses or me.

Thank you for your continued partnership and support!

Adam Moore