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Lawrence to restart in-person learning Monday

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The Lawrence School District will resume in-person instruction on Monday after being physically closed since Oct. 9, when the school district fell within the orange zone of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s cluster hotspot initiative. The district returned all students to remote learning.

“[We] will begin in-person [instruction] Monday to allow for testing to take place this week,” said Superintendent Dr. Ann Pedersen, noting that 20 percent of all students, staff and teachers at all the district’s schools need to be tested for coronavirus. The district is using a hybrid learning model with students rotating days in school and home.

After the Covid-19 rate infection numbers were unveiled at Cuomo’s Oct. 21 news conference, Lawrence moved into the yellow zone. As of Tuesday the numbers had the yellow zone with a 2.02 percent positivity rate. “Too high to get out of yellow,” Pedersen said. “Rolling average needs to be below 1.5. The Lawrence Primary School at the Number Two School and the Broadway Campus that houses the elementary school and middle school were in the orange zone and the Number Two School abuts the yellow.

After the creation of the Covid-19 cluster hotspot initiative earlier this month, Cuomo established red, orange and yellow cluster zones. To leave the red zone must be under a 3 percent infection rate after 10 days, 4 percent in less populated areas. To exit the orange zone it is under 2 percent after 10 days, 3 percent in less populated areas and yellow under 1.5 after 10 days and 2 percent in less populated  regions. Lawrence schools are in two of the three zones Cuomo created except for the high school.

In the red zone religious worship is allowed at 25 capacity, 10 people maximum. Mass gatherings prohibited, only essential businesses are open and schools are closed. Dining is only delivery or takeout.

 In orange religious worship is 35 percent capacity, 25 people maximum. Mass gatherings are 10 people maximum inside or outside. Businesses considered high-risk and non-essential such as gyms, personal care, etc. are closed, along with schools. Dining is outside only with a four-person maximum per table.

In yellow religious worship is 50 percent capacity, mass gatherings are 25 people maximum indoors or outdoors and non-essential business are open. Dining is inside or outside, four-person maximum to a table. Schools are open with a mandatory 20 percent weekly testing of students, teachers and staff.    

The latest numbers from Nassau County official has cases dropping 20 percent in Lawrence and 75 percent in the past three weeks. Cases in Inwood and Woodmere have declined by 33 percent.