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2021-2022 Covid Updates from our Head of School

The mission and vision of Veritas Academy has remained unchanged since the founding of the school and is rooted in partnership. As we navigated the 2020-2021 school year together, our primary objective was to maximize in-person, on-campus instruction for our students, conducted in a manner that was as safe as reasonably and practically possible for both our kids and their teachers. Striking that balance was not the easiest thing we attempted, and yet we saw it was possible as we remained committed to supporting the safety of our community and upholding the mission and values of Veritas Academy that brought us together. 

Our mission and commitment continue to anchor us as we now launch into the 2021-2022 school year. In what may still be a unique year, please continue to read our weekly Covid updates and join us in praying for each other and our school community, that we would be gracious and full of care and consideration for one another, that the Lord’s hand would cover and protect our children and families, and that we would individually and collectively be wise in our decisions as we fully rely on Him.

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Covid Update – 2021.08.27

August 27, 2021
By Jef Fowler, HOS

Weekly COVID Update

Over the past week (since last Friday afternoon), we have had reported to us the following Covid-positive cases: 1 SL student, 11 SR students, and 1 staff/SR coach. Almost all of the SR infections are concentrated in just two sports teams, with most ill students removing themselves from school (and practices) at the first sign of sickness, well ahead of a positive Covid test. I would like to say thank you to these students and their parents and ask that we all follow their example and keep our children (and ourselves) home if not well. Teachers are supporting absent students as best as they can and will continue to do so.

In the Austin metropolitan area, the surge in Covid cases and hospitalizations from the Delta variant may be peaking...that is if it follows the pattern of the last two surges this past winter and spring/summer 2020, which, so far, has been replicated perfectly. Local headlines continue to tout the increased hospitalization of younger people, though those people tend to be in their 20’s and 30’s; however, this morning’s edition of the Austin American-Statesman did focus on youth (teenagers and below), with a headline proclaiming that “Dell Children’s [Hospital is] seeing twice as many.” 

The article noted that Covid admissions presently account for the fourth most virus cases at Dell (behind RSV, parainfluenza, and rhinovirus), but both Covid and total admissions are double what they were a year ago (11 Covid and 190 total vs. ~5 and 100, respectively, from last August), when “[children] wore masks, limited their activities and washed their hands frequently [and] weren’t coming into the emergency room with RSV, parainfluenza, rhinovirus, or COVID-19 because those prevention measures kept all the viruses at bay,” per the Physician-in-Chief at Dell Children’s. 

Of course, most children in Austin were also kept at home and not allowed to attend school last August, so that’s likely the primary “limited activity” that accounted for last year’s relatively low hospitalization rate for kids (~5) compared with this year’s number (11). But an even bigger factor may be that the local area (Travis County) hospitalization rate from Covid infections of all ages last August (which sank from a daily average of 300+ patients to just over 100 during that month) was a fraction of what it is right now with more than 600 hospitalized Covid patients county wide. Both of those factors would explain a significant uptick in youth infections and hospitalizations this August compared to last August. In fact, it could be argued that we should have expected a whole lot more hospitalizations among children than what we are presently witnessing.

Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence suggests that the Delta variant may be much more transmissible in people of all ages, even if it’s virulence (severity, harmfulness) among children is little to no more so than for previous strains of this virus. For the past year-and-a-half, there have been 10 Covid-related deaths of people under age 30 in the Austin metropolitan area (of more than 2 million people total), and all of those were adults in their 20’s, per Austin Public Health.

So as of now, we are staying the course as we continue to closely monitor and promptly report on the spread and impact of this virus within the Veritas and Austin area communities. Please save the following links if you would like easy access to our weekly COVID updates, the School Nurse's page, and the Absence Notification Form.  -Jef


Archive of 2020-2021 Covid Updates


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