A Letter to Our Community on Thanksgiving and Safety
Dr. Joseph Kreutziger

Dear St. George’s Community,

Thanksgiving is without question my favorite holiday. The way we do it amounts to two overflowing grocery carts of food, three days of cooking, several hours of eating, and leftovers for days. Last Thanksgiving day, we hosted 17 people, five dogs, and two cats. Two sets of relatives came in from out of town, animals in tow. This year, it’s just the four of us. (Well, the seven of us including our two cats and dog!)

As you likely know, with the recent spike in cases of Covid-19, the city has changed its Covid Level Threat to “Outward or Imminent Outbreak.”  We have all observed Covid-19 cases rising across the country this past month, hopeful and ultimately wishful in thinking that Orleans Parish would continue to maintain its bubble of low positivity numbers. The renewed need to be extra vigilant has become abundantly clear. In speaking with local health experts and other local heads of schools, not to mention the hard published data both from the city and from local universities, this trend continues and is having an impact on all of our schools just as we’re breaking for Thanksgiving. 

This includes St. George’s and me. You’ll see in our Covid update section below that the number of community members who have had to quarantine this week, including myself, is higher than in any other week since in person learning recommenced, in large part due to two classes having to quarantine. It has stretched our ability to staff the school considerably. Yet almost all of our known positive cases of community members have been from external exposure, and we have not had a known case of internal spread or exposure. In other words, what we are doing is working as well as it can. These are the measures we need to take to keep our faculty and community safe and on campus, and we are grateful to you for your open and honest communication with us when cases or exposure does arise. 

With this current rise in cases, this does mean that our shared responsibilities and community agreements are more important than ever. We would like to thank the community for following school protocols and for their thoughtfulness when making decisions outside of school.  It has allowed us to remain on campus and safe, and we’d like to be able to continue our in person learning throughout the winter season as we all eagerly and anxiously await the possible dissemination of a vaccine from spring to summer. We understand that every family manages risk outside of school differently, but we so appreciate the continued mindfulness when making decisions that could lead to increased exposure for your family and our community.  Please see the links below from the CDC on how to safely celebrate this holiday season.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving break, eat well, and do relax. Even with all of the differences and adjustments we have to make, there is still turkey, stuffing, and pie in the oven. There is still tremendous gratitude in being a part of this St. George’s family. I give thanks to you.

Yours,
Joe

Links to CDC on Social Gatherings and CDC on Safely Celebrating Thanksgiving