March 18, 2022
Dear Smithfield Staff and Families,
This 27th edition of the Back to School report includes our weekly report on COVID cases along with information about isolation and quarantine, close contacts, staying vigilant, and town data.
A Weekly Report on COVID Cases
Over the past week, we have had an additional 16 confirmed COVID cases. This brings our total since our school year began to 912 cases. There was 1 case identified at SHS, 10 cases identified at Gallagher, 2 cases at Pleasant View Elementary, 1 case at LaPerche Elementary and 2 cases at Old County Road Elementary.
RIDOH Guidance for Isolation and Quarantine
Rhode Islanders who test positive for COVID-19 should isolate at home for at least 5 days, or until their symptoms have improved and they’ve been fever-free for at least 24 hours without fever-reducing medication, and wear a well-fitting mask around others for 5 more days. The last day of exposure is considered Day 0, therefore, for household contacts, unless the infected person can isolate from the rest of the family, the quarantine may include the 5 days of the infected family member’s isolation followed by 5 days of quarantine, followed by 5 days of mask wearing in public. People with moderate to severe illness or who are immunocompromised should isolate longer and consult with their doctor.
RIDOH will not require schools to identify or notify contacts but instead recommends that schools send a letter notifying parents of potential classroom exposure. Everyone in the classroom/group with someone with COVID-19 will be considered a contact. If they’re asymptomatic, then they can attend school. Smithfield is implementing a Monitor to Stay program whereby families of close school-based contacts are expected to monitor for symptoms and keep students home if experiencing any symptoms. Exposed individuals should also wear the best mask available; and get tested or use a home-based test kit.
Although many COVID precautions have been lifted, we are remaining vigilant by attending to mitigation efforts, including encouraging members of the community to stay up to date with vaccination, monitoring symptoms, providing screening testing, optimizing ventilation, and keeping our schools clean. To find available vaccination sites near you, please visit Vaccine Information | RI COVID-19 Information Portal .
The weekly number of new COVID cases for the week ending March 12th has continued to increase from 28 cases last week to 37 cases this week. The number of cases in the state has decreased from 1176 last week to 990 this week, the lowest weekly count we have seen since July 2021. The town rate corresponds to a weekly rate of 168 new cases per 100,000 residents. The CDC has issued updated guidance for measuring community level risk for COVID-19. Rhode Island is in the process of transitioning to this new framework. This data is available at https://bit.ly/2PxCgDM.
Judy Paolucci, Superintendent