Officials: Over 200 Toms River Regional Schools students have tested positive
More than 200 students in the Toms River Regional Schools have now tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the school year – and even more are currently home on quarantine.
According to data shared on the school homepage, roughly 1.5% of the student body has tested positive out of 14,500 students.
Health and school officials say the numbers are consistent with the rate of transmission currently seen in a county like Ocean with a high rate of spread.
STATE OF OUR SCHOOLS: Back-to-school resources
The school district's quarantine policy requires anyone who has had close direct contact with a positive case to stay home. The combined total of students now quarantined and who are positive represents 6% of the student body.
At the start of the school year, Toms River schools allowed masks to be optional in buildings without any air conditioning. As of Sept. 20, that policy ended.
A Health Department official says there is not enough data to link the policy and any direct impact on case numbers. As of now, the numbers do not require any schools in the district to switch to virtual learning.
District spokesperson Michael Kenny says, "Of the 217 students who have reported testing positive since the start of the school year, none to our knowledge have endured serious symptoms or been hospitalized. For that we are extremely grateful, and we continue to adhere to all health and safety guidance on behalf of our students, staff, and the Toms River community."
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COVID RESOURCES: COVID-19 vaccine resources and case data
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EXPLAINER: The CDC's new mask guidelines
Ocean County has one of the lowest rates in New Jersey when it comes to vaccinations at around 45%. Health officials say the best way to prevent the spread and serious illness is to get a shot.