We seem to have navigated a positive COVID case in both Lower Elementary and Upper Elementary with no community spread! We are at day 8 since exposure and will need to all continue to monitor for symptoms until day 14, but the negative tests have been flooding in and there were no symptoms among our students and staff, were with the students who tested positive.
We appreciate the conscientiousness and understanding of all of our families in abiding by the quarantine restrictions and keeping children home until the 14 days, or 7 days and a negative test, have passed. With these being the first cases when a potentially contagious COVID positive individual had been at school for full school days, we took the precaution, as advised by the Vermont Department of Health, to close the whole classroom. The HMS COVID Advisory Committee will be meeting this weekend to discuss what restrictions or tracking might be good to add to our protocols in order to do more specific contact tracing in programs with older students. The guidelines that are helping us with these considerations include the:
- COVID-19 in Pediatric Patients: Triage, Evaluation, Testing and Return to School
- COVID-19 Framework for Assessing High-Risk Activities in PreK-12
- COVID-19 Advisory Memorandum: Recommendations for Contact Tracing
Vaccinated adults do not need to quarantine when exposed to a COVID positive person. Since all of the adults who work with children at our school have been vaccinated, we will not need to have teachers quarantine. They will need to monitor symptoms closely and it is recommended that they test within 3-5 days of exposure.
In order to fully consider the specific circumstances of each case, should there be another positive case in our community, we will likely shut the classroom for at least a day to do contact tracing and determine how to best meet the safety needs of individual students and the community, and also meet the educational and child care needs of families. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.
Head of School