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[See UPDATE below]

Red Bank Regional High School will revert to an all-remote schedule Friday because of  “high rates of community transmission” of COVID-19 and other factors, Superintendent Lou Moore announced Thursday evening.

All sports and in-persons activities are cancelled for Friday and Saturday, Moore said in an email to the school community.

“We are taking this action reluctantly as a precaution and based on a recommendation from the Monmouth Regional Health Commission,” he wrote.

Moore cited “high rates of community transmission, both locally and throughout Monmouth County,” and COVID-19-positive tests of two individuals who were in the school  Tuesday.

The transmission had been reported to the community Wednesday, though in-person activity continued Thursday after “all known close contacts” of the affected students were identified and informed so they could self-quarantine, Moore said.

Since February, the Little Silver school’s host town has seen a 33-percent increase in confirmed COVID-19 cases, to 506 as of Thursday, according to the Monmouth County government. The district’s other two sending towns of Red Bank and Shrewsbury have seen infection totals grow by 12 percent, to 1,496, and 17 percent, to 474, respectively, the data show.

In his note, Moore said officials hope to reopen the school Monday, and will provide an update everyone Friday after reviewing the school’s status with county public health officials.

As of Wednesday, 1,306 Monmouth County deaths since the start of the pandemic a year ago have resulted from COVID-19, with another 130 considered “probable” results of the illness, according to the New Jersey Health Department.

More than one in eight of those deaths, or 152, have been reported since February 1, state data show.

[UPDATE: RBR will continue in full-remote mode Monday. “We are waiting for test results for students exposed and want to make sure there have not been additional school-based transmissions,” Moore says in notice emailed Friday afternoon.]

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