ERIC SPRUILL

USD 413 held its first Gating Criteria meeting on Wednesday and after reviewing all of the information, the district held an overall rating of green, indicating school and activities will continue as scheduled next week.

The gating committee looks at the previous two weeks of data to make their decision.

“I just want to emphasize there is no magical formula, there is no algorithm driving this. This is humans making decisions using the best information that we have available,” Superintendent Dr. Kellen Adams said. “These are extremely important decisions. I liken this to a snow day that occurs every single week and affects the entire next week of classes.”

The district had a 2 percent absentee rate for the first week of school, which left them in the green (3-5.9 percent is considered yellow). 

Neosho County as a whole is in the yellow category, when factoring in its two-week positive case rate. Thirteen of the county’s 163 tests over the last two weeks have been positive at 7.9 percent.

Neosho County’s cumulative incidence rate was in the green area at 46.85 (yellow is considered 51-100). 

Two weeks ago, the incidence rate was increasing, followed by a decrease in numbers the next week. This left the trend in the yellow category, which is stable.

The final category is local/referring hospital capacity. This formula takes into consideration the percentage of available Intensive Care Unit hospital beds in the Kansas City metro area, south central and southeast Kansas, as well as at Neosho Memorial Regional Medical Center.

Currently 43 percent of ICU beds in the three regions are available. 

The committee consists of two members of the Neosho County Health Department, three members of NMRMC and five members from USD 413. 

Those interested in seeing the data the committee uses can visit coronavirus.kdheks.gov 

“We will meet every Wednesday at 9 am and make the decision for the next week of school. Everyone should have the results Wednesday by noon. If the data starts trending to the yellow, orange or red, you can expect communication coming from each school very quickly in regards to what the next week will look like,” Adams said. 

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