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BPS Health and Safety Bulletin - Protocols for Responding to COVID Exposures

BPS Health and Safety Bulletin - Protocols for Responding to COVID Exposures

 BPS:  Protocols for Responding to COVID Exposures- May 10, 2021

The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) recently released new guidelines for close contact with a positive Covid-19 Individual. 

"Close contacts who were exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual in the classroom or on the bus while both individuals were masked do not have to quarantine unless they were within 3 feet of distance of the COVID-19 positive individual for a total of 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. This does not apply if someone was identified as a close contact outside of the classroom or bus (e.g., in sports, extra-curriculars, lunch, etc.) or if masks are not worn by both persons at the time of the exposure. All other close contacts must follow the standard protocol for when a close contact may return to school."

As we know there have been many changes throughout this school year as more has been learned about the virus. Please be patient with our school nurses and Belmont Health Department as we navigate these new changes to our protocol. The most important thing that our Belmont parents/guardians and students can do is to follow the instructions that you are given for isolation, quarantine, and/or testing due to a Covid-19 exposure. 

Covid-19  Positive Person:

No change: Covid-19 positive students and staff must isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days and must be cleared by the health department or school nurse to return to work/school.

Close contact 0-6 feet of distance from a positive person when outside of school.

No change: All other situations less than 6 feet from the Covid -19 positive individual, must follow the BPS close contact quarantine guidelines. That is, quarantine at home as directed by the health department for 14 days. The Health Department and school nurses will follow students/staff and clear them from quarantine.

Close Contact less than 3 feet of distance from positive person:

NEW: THIS only pertains to students/staff in classrooms or on school buses

Students/Staff (who are not fully vaccinated) identified as close contact who were less than 3 feet of a positive person in the classroom or on the bus, must quarantine at home for 10 days and continue to monitor daily for any symptoms for the remaining 4 days beyond the 10-day quarantine (symptoms must be monitored for a total of 14 days). Please refer to the Symptom Checker in order to know which symptoms to look for.

Close contact 3-6 feet of distance from positive person:

NEW: THIS only pertains to students/staff (who are not fully vaccinated) in classrooms or on school buses

If your student is identified as a close contact who was within 3-6 feet of a positive individual in the classroom or on the bus while masked and is symptom-free, they may attend school and activities, but must test (PCR) on day # 5 after their exposure and send test results to the building school nurse as soon as possible but no later than day 7. Failure to do so will result in exclusion from school/school-sponsored activities.  If the test result is negative, and the person remains asymptomatic they may continue normal activities, BUT self-monitor for symptoms for a full 14 days. If a family chooses not to test, they must quarantine at home for the entire 10 days after exposure and also self-monitor for symptoms for a full 14 days. Please refer to the Symptom Checker in order to know which symptoms to look for.

If your student is identified as a contact between 3-6 feet, your school nurse will notify you via email. Please pay close attention to the instructions in the email. Test results must be sent directly to your school nurse.  If a test result is not submitted, your student will not be able to attend school or school activities and must quarantine at home.

General Information

  • PCR tests are the only tests accepted

  • Definition of fully vaccinated: Important: fully vaccinated is defined as a student, 12 years of age or older, who has received two doses of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines or one dose of the Janssen -Johnson & Johnson- COVID-19 vaccine more than 14 days ago. (Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to quarantine or test unless symptomatic).

  • Close Contact has tested positive for Covid in the past 90 days: Students/Staff who have tested positive for Covid-19 in the past 90 days and are fully recovered are not required to quarantine or test, per the Belmont Health Department.

Important Mitigation Strategies 

 

  • Practice frequent hand washing and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

  • Wearing a well-fitted mask that must cover nose and mouth- Minimal requirements for masks:

    • The effective fabrics for cloth masks are tightly woven, such as cotton and cotton blends, breathable, and more than 2 layers of fabric (CDC)

    • Masks must be tight fitting to the face (no gaps) with ear loops or ties

    • Gaiters and bandanas are not permitted

    • Masks with one way exhalation valves are not permitted

    • N95 or KN95 masks are not necessary

It is very important to wear a new mask every day and to wash cloth masks daily after each use.

  • Stay home when feeling unwell. Please review our daily symptom checker before sending your student to school. If sick, stay home.

  • When possible maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Always maintain 6 feet when masks are off during the school day such as snack/lunch and mask breaks.

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