We cannot stress enough that we have two goals this year - keep our students safe and keep them learning in school, in person. As a reminder we wanted to re-share the following COVID-19 protocols we have in place, along with a few updates, to aid in reaching these goals. For additional information, you can view the NC StrongSchools Toolkit. The nurses are seeing a lot of students who are coming to school with symptoms and not feeling well. Some of these students have then tested positive for COVID-19. Please, if your child is symptomatic or ill, do not send them to school.
At this time, due to critical community spread and high quarantine numbers, masks are required by all staff and students without a medical exemption BOTH on the bus and within our facilities. Masks are not required while outside and at recess, as well as during lunch. We will continue to work closely with local health agencies to monitor both community spread and cases within our school.
If there is a positive COVID case at a school, an email will go out to all parents and staff at that school notifying them of the COVID-19 case. If your child is identified as a close contact (defined below), you will receive an additional letter with quarantining information and guidelines.
We will follow NCDHHS and the CDC guidelines for being quarantined:
- If a child becomes symptomatic, please do not send them to school. If they become symptomatic while at school, they will be required to be isolated in a designated area at the school until the parent or guardian can pick them up. Symptomatic individuals will need to be quarantined for 10 days, unless they get a negative COVID-19 PCR/Molecular** test OR a doctor clears them to return to school with an alternative diagnosis. Symptoms include:
- Fever (temperature of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher)
- Sore throat
- Cough (for people with chronic cough due to allergies or asthma, a change in their cough from baseline)
- Difficulty breathing (for people with asthma, a change from their baseline breathing)
- New loss of taste or smell
- Diarrhea or vomiting
- New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
** At this time, under the advice of the local health department and due to the higher incidence of false negatives, we will not accept negative antigen tests for symptomatic individuals.
- If an individual tests positive, they will be quarantined for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or the date of testing if no symptoms were present.
- If an individual has been identified as a close-contact, there are three options for quarantining:
- 14 days from exposure (recommended);
- 10 days from exposure if no symptoms have been reported during daily at home monitoring; or
- 7 days from exposure if no symptoms have been reported during daily at home monitoring, and the individual has received results of a negative antigen OR PCR/molecular test on a test taken no earlier than day 5 of quarantine.
For purposes of being quarantined due to exposure, a close contact is identified as a person who was within 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes during the day to a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
There are a few possible exceptions to being quarantined due to exposure:
- If a person has been vaccinated, they do not have to quarantine unless they become symptomatic. If your child has been vaccinated, we welcome you to share proof of vaccination with your school nurse so that their learning can continue uninterrupted.
- If a person has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days, they may not have to quarantine.
- If both the positive individual and close contact were consistently and correctly wearing masks, the identified close contact does NOT have to be quarantined unless they become symptomatic (this exemption does not apply to staff per the StrongSchools Toolkit).
If your child is quarantined, and you need clarification on whether they can return to school, please contact your school nurse.
With all students back in the building, social distancing will not be possible; however, we will continue to encourage students to do the 3 Ws: Wait, Wash, and Wear. We will continue to have hand sanitizer available throughout the schools, wipe down desks, and use thorough cleaning protocols. In addition, we increased the filtration rate on all air filters in the District, as well as the amount of outside air introduced into each classroom. We are using ESSER funds to purchase and install ionization measures in each building to improve air quality.
Thank you for your support and partnership. By working together, we will ensure that our students can continue to learn safely in school!