Howell schools are no longer tracking COVID-19 cases

HOWELL, NJ — School districts in New Jersey have begun announcing changes to their existing COVID-19 protocols as the state’s mask mandate ends March 7. Among them are Howell Township Public Schools, which recently announced a halt to COVID-19 contact tracing efforts.

On Wednesday, Feb. 9, Howell Township Public Schools Superintendent Joseph Isola announced that beginning Thursday, the school district would no longer be looking for contracts. This means that close contacts at school will no longer be identified and will have to be quarantined.

“However, symptomatic individuals, close household contacts, and those who test positive for COVID-19 will still need to follow appropriate exclusion protocols,” Isola said in a letter to parents in the district.

Howell will also transition to a mask-optional environment in accordance with Governor Murphy’s recent announcement. In the same letter, Isola wrote that the remote learning program would only become available again for students in grades 3-8.

“We are committed to providing a safe learning environment for all individuals and we will monitor available data relating to COVID-19. We will maintain good hygiene and safety protocols, such as physical distancing wherever possible,” Isola continued.

Any additional changes to the district’s COVID-19 protocols will be updated as needed throughout the remainder of the school year.

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