West New York schools stay virtual as North Hudson cases climb

Some schools switched instruction plans amid the second surge

Students at WNY's Memorial High School remain with virtual instruction.
×
Students at WNY's Memorial High School remain with virtual instruction.

As North Hudson is hit by a second surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, school instruction plans have been shifting.

West New York

West New York will continue its virtual instruction plan, Superintendent of Schools Clara Brito Herrera said in a letter to the community on Dec. 7. According to Herrera, the school district aimed to phase in to hybrid instruction at some point in the year.

The district planned to reevaluate the learning plan at the end of the first marking period, but has now decided to remain virtual until the end of the second marking period in January of 2021. The decision was made in consultation with the West New York Health Department and Board of Education.

“Safety and instruction have been our priority during this unprecedented time,” Herrera said. “Our comprehensive reopening plan will still be phased in throughout the second half of the school year, and our goal remains to eventually enter hybrid learning in the near future.”

As of Dec. 16, West New York had 4,115 confirmed cases, 892 recoveries, and 157 deaths.

Weehawken

The district is currently operating on a hybrid learning plan. It went temporarily virtual from Oct. 30 to Nov. 16 after students and staff tested positive, Superintendent Eric Crespo announced.

It again went virtual after Nov. 24. The idea was to prevent the spread of the virus at schools following the Thanksgiving break.

As of Dec. 16, Weehawken had 62 confirmed cases, 665 recoveries, and and 25 deaths. The number of positive cases has decreased by 12 since Dec. 9.

Secaucus

The Secaucus school district will go virtual until January 15, according to Superintendent of Schools Jennifer Montesano. This came after students or staff tested positive three weeks in a row.

The district will remain virtual through January.

As of Dec. 17, Secaucus had 1,442 confirmed cases and 53 deaths.

Union City and Guttenberg

Public schools reopened virtually in Union City. Superintendent of Schools Silvia Abbato said the district will move to a hybrid in-person learning plan only if the the data supports that decision.

The Union City Board of Education is asking parents to complete a return-to-school survey. The board is seeking input for the eventual return to in-person instruction.

As of Dec. 17, Union City had 6,720 confirmed cases, and 238 deaths.

In Guttenberg, the Ana L. Klein Elementary School continues with virtual instruction.

As of Dec. 15, Guttenberg had 43 confirmed cases, 479 recoveries, and 35 deaths.

North Bergen

After operating on a virtual instruction plan for the past several weeks, the North Bergen School District looks to begin transitioning to a hybrid instruction plan, according to Superintendent of Schools Dr. George Solter. The decision is dependent on the state of COVID-19.

As of Dec. 17, the township had 6,261 confirmed cases, and 249 deaths. This is the ninth consecutive week that cases have increased by more than 100.

The new testing site in Braddock Park is open for walk-up or drive-thru on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Tests include the COVID-19 Nasal Swab and Serology Antibody Test.

No appointment is necessary. There is no out-of-pocket cost for township residents and no insurance co-pay.

Two other free testing sites are available by appointment-only with proof of residency.

Call the Walk-in Urgent Care Center, 7405 Bergenline Ave., at (201) 636-6763; call Diligent Medical Care, 3725 Liberty Ave., at (201) 834-8887; or text COVID to (973) 447-3559.

Residents are urged to get tested, socially distance, and wear masks.

North Bergen provides free masks to residents. Call 201-392-2157 or email NBCares@northbergen.org.

COVID-19 testing sites

North Hudson residents can get tested for COVID-19 and antibodies in Union City at 36th St. between Bergenline Ave. and Kennedy Blvd.

For Monday and Friday appointments, call 201-537-5704; for Tuesday and Thursday appointments, call 201-366-8465. Walk-ins are welcome on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Residents can get tested at Hudson Regional Hospital, 55 Meadowlands Parkway in Secaucus: Mondays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m., Tuesdays from 9 to 10:30 a.m. and Thursdays from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Make an appointment by calling 201-388-1097 Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Residents must be at least five years old for COVID-19 and antibody tests, and six months old for flu vaccines. Results are emailed within 24 hours.

For updates on this and other stories, check www.hudsonreporter.com and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Daniel Israel can be reached at disrael@hudsonreporter.com.