Many Alaskan Schools Off To A Rocky Start With Delta – Including the Copper River School District

MOST DISTRICTS IN STATE REQUIRE MASKS  Glennallen Elementary Principal Frances Jackson Announces She Has Covid  Urges Anyone Who Came Near H...

MOST DISTRICTS IN STATE REQUIRE MASKS 

Glennallen Elementary Principal Frances Jackson Announces She Has Covid 

Urges Anyone Who Came Near Her To Get Tested 

Wednesday, August 25th, 2021

The Covid-19 "Delta variant" is not the same as last year's Covid. Delta is faster, sneakier–and it goes after kids and young people.  Delta is on the march in the Copper Valley, pushing up the infection rate dramatically here in the past month, as it has all over the United States. (See stories about the Delta surge in this Journal) 

At least 328 Copper Valley people have gotten Covid since the pandemic began, says the Alaska Department of Health & Social Services. That's more than one in ten of all Copper River residents.  But few have publicly acknowledged the virus, its dangers, and the fact that they've gotten it.

So when Frances Jackson, the young, Gulkana-born principal of Glennallen Elementary was stricken by the virus today – on the very first day of school – she did the right thing. She alerted people who had potentially been in contact with her that there was a problem. 

The Principal sent out an email. She posted a notice on the school district website. She announced her medical condition. She gave an exposure timeline to anyone who might have been around her in the past few days. She asked those she'd been in contact with to make sure they were okay.  And she urged them to get tested. 

The email was simple, clear and to the point. From the Copper River School District, its subject line was, "A message about Coronavirus" and its mailing time was around 7:30 pm on Wednesday evening, August 25th. 

The email said: 

I am writing to let you know that today I tested positive for Covid-19. According to my doctor, if you were within 6 ft of me for more than 15 minutes at any time since last Friday, August 20th, get tested if you are showing any symptoms, if no symptoms you should test on days five and seven from the first exposure. 

I was not with any child for more than a few minutes today. I will be cleared to re-enter the building on Sept. 2nd. This is not the way I wanted to start the school year but it is what it is. 

I encourage all families to remain vigilant and practice safety Covid precautions. If you have any questions or concerns about exposure, please talk with your doctor. Take care and stay healthy. I'll see you soon! 

Sincerely, Ms. Jackson


Mat-Su & Fairbanks School Districts Also Stricken 

The Mat-Su School District, which started the year only a week ago without masking requirements,  saying that local schools were safe, has abruptly done an about face. The "low alert" of an August 5th district claim has given way, 20 days later, to universal masking in at least one Mat-Su borough school 

Many Mat-Su schools were immediately hammered by Covid-19. Right away there were outbreaks around the district. Only 4 days into the year, the district reported that 33 people in 16 different schools were sick with Covid-19. 

Then, on Monday, August 23rd, a big group of First Student Mat-Su bus drivers tested positive for the virus. This shut down dozens of bus routes all over the sprawling district.

Covid was spreading in Mat-Su, one of the least vaccinated places in the state. There have been 59 Covid-19 cases reported in 21 schools in the Mat-Su over the prior week. And the school bus cancellations in the Borough had become a statewide news story. 

Then the seemingly impossible quickly happened: masking. 

On Wednesday, August 25th, the Mat-Su Career & Tech High School near Wasilla triggered a headline in the Anchorage Daily News: 

"Mat-Su school is borough's first to shift to universal masking."

The Copper Valley and Mat-Su aren't the only districts where Covid is surfacing. In Fairbanks, after only a week of school there,  a number of schools are also reporting Covid-19 outbreaks. 

According to Alaska Public Media, most of Alaska's school districts required masking from at the start of the school year. 

Alaska Public Media reported that masking was relatively common throughout the state:

"Out of the top 10 largest districts (in Alaska) 7 are requiring universal masking inside school buildings. And across the state, more than half of all districts are starting the school year with universal mask policies," Alaska Public Media said. 

If you are 12 or over you qualify for a free Covid vaccine.

CONTACT CRNA AT 822-5241 OR
CROSS ROAD MEDICAL CENTER AT 822-3203 
TODAY 




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