COVID Protocol Update - Jan 7, 2022

COVID Protocol Update - Jan 7, 2022
Posted on 01/10/2022

Good Evening Parents and Guardians,

I want to update my communication sent on January 2 regarding the new guidelines issued by the CDC during the holiday break and adopted by the State Department of Education and Department of Public Health on December 31, 2021. As a reminder, these changes are the result of the low transmission rates in school settings and our strict adherence to mitigation strategies. Additionally, I learned today at a national superintendent forum that the CDC has visited schools throughout the country to verify the efficacy of their recommendations.

Below is a summary of the impact to our quarantine protocols in Newington Public Schools:

  • all mitigation strategies including mask wearing while indoors, hand hygiene, social distancing(when possible), and enhanced cleaning are to continue

  • masks must also be worn by athletes at all times during practices and competitions

  • contact tracing has been discontinued, but we will notify staff and families about positive cases on a weekly basis on our website using our new COVID dashboard beginning January 7. The dashboard  link is here:2022 COVID-19 Positive Case Dashboard

  • Families and staff will also be notified about positive cases at the elementary level if there is a case in their child’s classroom

  • If we see any evidence of school based spread, we will make the appropriate notifications and quarantine decisions

The new quarantine guidelines are as follows:

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID 19 or are symptomatic and awaiting test results will need to be quarantined. 

  • Any unvaccinated staff or students who are exposed in the community must quarantine immediately.

  • The SDE/DPH now permits us to accept home COVID 19 test results. Please put your child’s name and date of the test directly on the test result with a permanent marker, take a picture of the test result and email it to your school nurse.

  • Individuals who test positive for COVID 19 may return to school as soon as Day 6 provided they are fever free for at least 24 hours (without fever-reducing medication), have significant improvement to their symptoms, and are cleared by the school nurse. Please note, parents must contact the school nurse before sending their child to school after a COVID diagnosis. Please do not send your child back to school early(prior to Day 11) without approval from the school nurse.

We have received a small allocation of COVID 19 home tests for student and staff use at the discretion of the school nurse. Please contact your child’s school nurse for additional information.

We believe these new guidelines will further reduce the time that students are removed from the school setting. Based on our experience in NPS, very few individuals who were quarantined under our previous State guidelines, became COVID positive. As always, parents are urged to monitor their children’s health on a daily basis for any signs of COVID 19 and to reach out to their school nurse with any questions about the need to quarantine. We also continue to ask that you email your school principal and nurse if your child tests positive after hours or on weekends. Finally, given the ongoing data from the CDC about the importance of mask wearing, we appreciate your continued partnership in encouraging your children to cooperate with the mask mandate while at school. 

Be well and have a wonderful weekend.

Maureen Brummett, Ed.D

Superintendent of Schools