For the past several weeks, the COVID-19 Weekly Activity Report has demonstrated moderate (yellow) COVID-19 transmission levels across all regions. As cases in New Jersey continue rising, there is a possibility that some regions may move to high (orange) in coming weeks, the New Jersey Department of Education noted in an advisory.

Local educational agencies should continue to monitor the COVID-19 Activity Level Index and review the public health recommendations to determine additional mitigation measures during periods of elevated community transmission.

When the COVID-19 level of community transmission is high (orange), the NJDOE strongly encourages all LEAs to follow the NJDOH recommendations, including:

Masking: LEAs should strongly consider universal masking for all students and staff, especially if there is difficulty incorporating other layered prevention strategies, such as adequate spacing of students.

Activities: LEAs should carefully consider which activities they determine can continue, based on the individual activity’s risks, strategies to reduce those risks and the ability to ensure compliance with COVID-19 prevention recommendations.

Screening testing: For schools participating in screening testing programs, testing of students who are not fully vaccinated participating in higher risk sports and extracurricular activities should occur twice per week. Screening testing of teachers and staff who are not fully vaccinated should also occur twice per week in compliance with Executive Order 253 and Executive Directive 21-011.

Schools should continue to consult with their local health department and must immediately report outbreaks to their local health department.

If you have questions, please contact your County Office of Education.