COVID Protocols at PHS Working Well

Piscataway High School is doing a good job managing COVID-19 when looking at national data


Percival Singson

Due to coronavirus safety protocols put into place, Piscataway Schools has had much less Covid-19 cases and quarantines compared to other school districts and states.

The coronavirus has completely changed school. Going from last year (2020) which was a mix of virtual and hybrid, to this year (2021) with full in-person learning, teachers, and students have had to adapt to a plethora of changes, including the added risk of sharing an indoor space with potentially unvaccinated peers. However, the Piscataway School District has done a pretty good job at handling COVID so far.

As of early-November, there have only been 35 positive cases, with only 3 here at Piscataway High School.  Current Covid-19 data is updated weekly and posted on the district website.  Compared to other districts, Piscataway is doing relatively well. Toms River, a district south of Piscataway, had 900 students and staff in quarantine, with 250 positive cases. Toms River had a mask optional policy, claiming excessive heat is why they did not require masks. Spotswood High School currently has around 200 kids in quarantine with 11 positive cases. Spotswood had an outbreak due to their homecoming dance. Crossroads North Middle School in South Brunswick has their entire sixth grade, 315 students, in quarantine due to an outbreak.

While districts in New Jersey are doing well, in other states COVID has caused school closures and even deaths. Two New York City schools have closed during the week of November 8th for COVID-related reasons. At another NYC school, 17 new coronavirus cases and two new cases among staff members developed in 13 days. Earlier this year, an NYC school shut down because over twenty staff members got COVID. In Minnesota, 8 staff members and one student have died due to COVID-19 since the start of the school year.

For some states, the rising number of coronavirus cases can be linked to loose safety protocols. In Texas, where the governor banned mask mandates, there have been over 200,000 COVID cases in schools since the start of the year. Recently, this ban was overturned by a federal judge. In New Jersey, the governor required masks, which many see as contributing to the COVID cases in schools being extremely low: according to state COVID-19 reporting, there have been 20,000 student COVID cases in all NJ schools since the start of the school year.

In fact, according to NJ Department of Education data, Middlesex county only has an average of 1.94 positive student cases for every 1000 students, which is fifth in the state!  Piscataway has seen very few COVID cases within our districts, which is a testament to the protocols the school has implemented and the majority of the school community following CDC recommendations. Go PWAY!