Pattonville to host COVID-19 event with infectious disease expert

 The Pattonville School District will host a presentation on Zoom with infectious disease expert Dr. Jason Newland from 6 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 27. During the event, Newland will provide an update on COVID-19 and the preliminary results of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) pilot program studying COVID-19 transmission and mitigation strategies in schools. Pattonville joined other schools in Missouri to partner with the CDC on this project.

The event with Newland is free, but pre-registration for the Zoom webinar is required by filling out the following form:

Newland will provide an update on current COVID-19 cases and variants, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine. He will also discuss school transmission of the virus and effective mitigation strategies, including preliminary results of the CDC school study. Preliminary results will be released soon in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), a weekly epidemiological digest for the United States. Newland will also answer questions submitted to moderators during the event.

Newland is a professor of pediatrics at Washington University and a physician at St. Louis Children’s Hospital. He leads the BJC Healthcare Systems Infectious Diseases Clinical Expert Council and Antimicrobial Stewardship Collaborative. He also serves as Pattonville’s liaison with the CDC school project. 

 In December, the CDC began working with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), St. Louis University and Washington University to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in U.S. schools. Pattonville partnered with the CDC on the project as a way to help assess the district’s COVID-19 prevention strategies. The project involves in-depth COVID-19 case and contact investigations of students and staff on a voluntary basis. As part of the project, saliva-based testing is offered to some students and staff who are identified as close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case. Participation is entirely voluntary, and all health information remains confidential.

 Because Pattonville has put a number of health and safety measures in place to help prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in its schools, the number of positive cases in Pattonville schools has been relatively low. Participating in this project will provide Pattonville school leaders more information on the impact of the district’s mitigation strategies as educators seek to meet students’ academic and social-emotional needs in a safe environment.