We hope that you are enjoying your summer break! As the start of the school year is quickly approaching we wanted to reach out to our families to provide them an update regarding COVID-19 safety protocols and mitigation strategies for the start of the 2022-2023 school year.
Facemasks: Will facemasks be required students / staff?
No. However no person can be prevented from wearing a mask as a condition of participation in an activity or entry into a school. Students and staff can wear facemasks at their discretion. Schools will continue to provide a face mask for any student or staff inadvertently forgetting to bring a facemask and then desiring to use one.
Handwashing: Will there continue to be handwashing stations inside and outside the classroom?
Yes. There will be handwashing stations inside and outside the classrooms at each school in order for students to wash their hands throughout the school day. Teachers will continue to reinforce proper handwashing. Our schools will continue to ensure adequate supplies to support hand hygiene behaviors, including soap, tissues, no-touch trashcans, and hand sanitizer.
Managing Individuals with Symptoms: How will the school address students and staff with symptoms?
Students and staff should stay home when sick and/or exhibiting flu like symptoms. In most situations, any student who develops new, unexplained symptoms should not return to campus until it is clear that symptoms are mild and improving or are due to a non-infectious cause (e.g., allergies). This includes waiting until 24 hours have passed since resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Additionally, if symptoms are concerning for COVID-19, it is recommended that students and staff wear a mask and get tested immediately. For the 2022-2023 school year our district is partnering with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) to receive free supplies of Over-the-Counter (OTC) COVID-19 tests. Thus, our schools will provide families an OTC COVID test kit for students exhibiting COVID symptoms while supplies last.
Testing Positive: What happens when students or staff test positive for COVID-19?
- Students and/or staff should stay home for at least 5 days after start of symptoms (or after date of first positive test if no symptoms).
- Isolation can end after Day 5 if symptoms are not present or are resolving and a diagnostic specimen collected on Day 5 or later tests negative.
- If unable to test, choosing not to test, or testing positive on Day 5 (or later), isolation can end after Day 10 if fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
- If fever is present, isolation should be continued until 24 hours after fever resolves.
- If symptoms, other than fever, are not resolving, continue to isolate until symptoms are resolving or until after Day 10. If symptoms are severe, or if the infected person is at high risk of serious disease, or if they have questions concerning care, infected persons should contact their healthcare provider for available treatments.
Exposure to COVID-19: What happens when students or staff are exposed to COVID-19?
- It is recommended that families notify schools if their child has COVID-19 and was on school grounds during their infectious period.
- Individuals exposed to COVID-19 will receive a notification.
- Students or staff with known exposure to persons with COVID-19 should follow the recommendations below:
- Test within 3-5 days after last exposure.
- Consider wearing a well-fitting mask around others for a total of 10 days, especially in indoor settings. Strongly encouraged to get vaccinated or boosted.
- If symptoms develop, test and stay home.
Should we continue to receive additional or updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) we will be sure to provide you that updated information. We hope you enjoy the rest of your summer break and we look forward to seeing everyone on Monday, August 8, 2022 for our first day of school. As always, thank you for your ongoing support, patience and understanding as we continue to prepare for TK-8 students return to school and for entrusting your child’s education to our Empire Union School District educators.