Wall parents seek more school COVID data

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FILE PHOTO / THE COAST STAR

WALL TOWNSHIP — Parents attending Tuesday night’s virtual school board meeting pressed for further improvement in the district’s communications on COVID-19 cases in Wall Township schools.

While acknowledging greater transparency during Superintendent Tracy R. Handerhan’s first months on the job, several parents urged her to begin providing timely information on the district website about the COVID-19 case situation in each school, which they said would help them to make more informed decisions for their families, such as whether to transition their children to all-virtual learning.

Ms. Handerhan, who said she has received several such requests in recent weeks, said, “While I understand the importance of and the demand for transparency, I must take steps to maintain as much confidentiality as possible. These COVID-19 numbers are not merely statistics. They are associated with people … this is medical information.

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“At this time, gratefully, the numbers at the elementary schools, spread across the five buildings and the virtual school, are still very low. When the number of positive cases reach a point where individuals are no longer identifiable, I will certainly post this information on the website,” she said.
The superintendent said that as of Tuesday, there were a total of 67 positive cases and two additional presumed positive cases reported across the district since schools reopened in September. The presumed cases, two high school students, declined to be tested and were in quarantine, she said.

The breakdown of cases is 31 students and four staff members at Wall High School; eight students and four staff at Wall Intermediate School; and 13 students and six staff in prekindergarten through fifth grades, she said. The numbers include some students who are in the all-virtual school. 

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