Dear Hope Lutheran School Parents,
As we continue to learn and get updates from the Johnson County Health Department and CDC we will update our Health and Safety Plan. Here is the most up-to-date information shared with schools.
NEW COVID-19 Quarantine: The CDC recommends a 14-day quarantine as the gold standard for COVID-19 infection prevention/control. Although the risk of transmission after the 10-day quarantine period is low, the risk is not zero. The modifications to a 14-day quarantine period are optional. For more information, please refer to the CDC at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/more/scientific-brief-options-to-reduce-quarantine.html.
Hope Lutheran School will continue to use the 14-day quarantine as it is the gold standard for infection prevention.
Symptomatic Individuals in a School Setting
Individuals can spread COVID-19 even before they develop symptoms, and individuals who are infectious (spreading the virus) may not have any symptoms. The symptoms of COVID-19 are wide-ranging, from a loss of taste and smell to severe respiratory issues.
FACULTY AND STAFF
Staff who have at least one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms are assumed to have COVID-19 and should be excluded from school and school-related activities and isolate at home. Fever is a primary symptom in adults. Staff with symptoms should consult with a health care provider to be tested for COVID-19 and/or obtain an alternative diagnosis. Many primary care providers offer COVID-19 testing, as does JCDHE (schedule an appointment online at jocogov.org/coronavirus). Staff members who exhibit one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms and are either not tested or test positive for COVID-19 should remain out of school and all school-related activities for 14 days after their symptoms began AND 24 hours after their fever (if present) has resolved without the aid of medication AND their initial symptoms have improved. Staff who test negative for COVID-19 can return to work 24 hours after their symptoms improve. If a physician indicates the symptoms are due to a non-infectious diagnosis (e.g., allergies, asthma), they can return to work prior to symptom resolution. If an employee only has one secondary symptom, the individual should be excluded until 24 hours after their symptom improves.
Students with at least one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms are assumed to have COVID-19 and should be excluded from school and school-related activities and isolate at home. Fever is considered a secondary symptom in elementary school children, but a primary symptom in middle and high school students. Children who exhibit one primary symptom OR two or more secondary symptoms and are not tested or test positive for COVID-19 should remain out of school and all school-related activities for 14 days after their symptoms began AND 24 hours after their fever (if present) has resolved without the aid of medication AND their initial symptoms have improved.
Considerations in Determining Exclusions
Individuals who were unmasked within 6 feet for 10 cumulative minutes or more in a single instance or participated in a high-risk activity with the COVID-19 positive individual during their infectious period, must be excluded for a minimum of 7 days (with negative test AND no symptoms) from their last interaction with the individual. Individuals who do not get a negative PCR test should be excluded for 14 days from last exposure, provided they remain symptom-free. All close contacts should self-monitor for 14 days from exposure. If symptoms develop during the 14-day period, a person should self-isolate/be excluded from school and school activities and get a PCR test.
Exposures outside of the school setting
NEW If a student or staff member is a close contact of a positive individual, no matter the setting in which they were exposed, they should be excluded per current public health recommendations. All close contacts should self-monitor for symptoms for 14 days from exposure. If symptoms develop during the 14-day period, a person should self-isolate/be excluded from school and school activities and get a PCR test.
NEW Household Contact If a household member (sibling, parent, etc.) tests positive for COVID-19, then all other household members must be quarantined per current public health recommendations following their last interaction with the positive case. If the positive individual can isolate in a separate bedroom, with a separate bathroom, spending little to no time in common areas and always wearing a mask in the presence of other household members, then the quarantine begins on the day the positive individual began isolating away from the household. If this is not possible, then household members will need to quarantine per current public health recommendations following the end of the infected person’s isolation. This may mean that family members are quarantined for longer periods. If additional household members become symptomatic/test positive during the isolation or quarantine period, the quarantine period starts over.
NEW In the absence of a negative PCR test for COVID-19 after the onset of symptoms, individuals with a known exposure to a COVID-19 positive individual who becomes symptomatic within 14 days of last exposure are presumed positive. They should already be in quarantine. Becoming symptomatic/presumed positive should trigger a move from quarantine to isolation. Contact tracing activities should begin at school/JCDHE. The individual should be encouraged to get confirmatory testing.