Township Manager Issues Statement On Town’s Role in Opening Schools

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In light of what he said appears to be the “continuing public misimpression” of township health officer Lou Anello’s role in directing schools during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically the belief that he has decision-making authority over school remote and in-person learning decisions, township manager Barry Lewis has issued a statement clarifying the matter. His statement, included in its entirety below, explains that the Livingston Health Department is a conduit that shares state and federal information with Livingston Public Schools. Lewis also said that school-related decisions, while based on state guidance, ultimately fall on the district.

Initially, I want to clarify that Mr. Anello does not have any decisionmaking authority over whether the LPS system operates remotely, inperson, or under a hybrid model. Instead, Mr. Anello and the Livingston Health Department have supportive roles in providing the district with (i) updates and information from the State of New Jersey Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the latest guidelines andbest practices, (ii) data and information on local COVID cases, trends, etc. and (iii) collaboration and assistance with contact tracing of COVID-positive cases in the Livingston Public Schools.



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