(10-22-20) An open letter was jointly issued today by the Berrien County Health Department and Berrien County school districts. There has been a significant increase in recent COVID-19 case counts and a rise in the percent of positive tests as well as hospitalizations throughout Berrien County.

Find the open letter to the community here.

The ending of the letter

The ability to keep our schools open for in-person instruction is dependent not only on our ability to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 within the walls of our building, but it is equally dependent upon how our entire community is faring as a whole. If the rate of cases continues to trend upward, the Berrien County Health Department warns that schools may be forced to implement additional protocols and restrictions to prevent the current rate of spread. These safety measures could mean the cancellation of extracurricular activities, including band and athletics, further limiting access to events and, in a worst-case scenario, forcing a shift to fully remote learning across our districts.

It is critical that we all work together to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our communities with the same resolve that has allowed us to successfully open our schools this fall. We all must follow the necessary protocols when out in public or around others outside of your household that have worked to provide a safe environment in our schools: wear a mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. Continue to screen your students for the onset of symptoms before the start of each day, and keep them home if they
are sick.

Our ongoing partnership with you, our school families and community members, is of the utmost importance to us as we uphold health and safety precautions both within and outside of school. Thank you for your continuous support, flexibility, and demonstrated resilience during this unprecedented school year.