Adjusted School COVID Response Plan for 2022

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    **Updated January 5, 2022**
    As we begin the new year, we have adjusted our COVID response plan to reflect changes in health department guidelines. This document was developed jointly between the Bear River Health Department, the four Northern Utah school districts, and charter schools.

    PREVENTION

    Face Coverings (Masks)
    Masks and other face coverings remain an important tool for reducing the spread of COVID-19. While masks are not generally required in our school buildings or on school grounds, mask use is encouraged as a prevention approach. For example, individuals may choose to wear a mask to keep themselves and others safe, if they have underlying health conditions, if transmission rates are high, or if they have been exposed to COVID-19. Any individual who chooses to wear a mask should feel comfortable and welcome to do so in our schools. Please see the back of this document for guidance on mask wearing for individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 or who have been exposed.

     

    COVID Testing
    The Bear River Health Department continues to provide free diagnostic testing for any K-12 student or employee of public and charter schools that experience symptoms or believe they have been exposed. Information on testing locations and times will be provided on the Bear River Health Department website. The health department will also assist with “Test to Stay” protocols should we experience significant outbreaks.  

     

    Vaccination
    A major tool currently available to anyone 5 and older is vaccination. Most of our adult population over 65 have been vaccinated, as well as a majority of adults 18 or older and a significant percentage of our student population 12 and older. The decision to receive a vaccine is a personal decision and parental consent is required for anyone under 18. Vaccinations are free through the Bear River Health Department or can be scheduled through local pharmacies or health care providers. 

     

    Illness Protocols
    It is critical to continue to be diligent with district illness protocols. Employees or students who experience symptoms or are ill should remain home until symptoms subside. If symptoms are COVID-19 related, individuals should take advantage of testing.   

     

    Hygiene
    Handwashing and hand-sanitizing continue to be important in reducing the spread of COVID-19 or other infectious conditions. Hand sanitizer and soap dispensers are readily available in schools for students and staff.  Handwashing, hand sanitizing, and other good hygiene practices will be encouraged by teachers and school staff. 

     

    Enhanced Cleaning 
    Enhanced cleaning of schools will continue. Enhanced cleaning is defined as more frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, strategic cleaning of high-use areas, and focused cleaning if a classroom or school has a high case count.

     

     

    INTERVENTION (New Protocols)

    In cooperation with the Bear River Health Department, we will address positive cases or exposures to COVID-19 cases in the Bear River Health District as follows:

     

    Individuals Who Test Positive (Isolation)

    Individuals who test positive:

    • Must isolate themselves for at least five days starting the day after the test collection date.
    • They may return to school after five days if their symptoms have improved and they have been fever free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication. 
    • It is recommended that individuals returning after five days wear a mask for five additional days.

     

    Individuals Who Are Exposed and Current on Vaccinations (see definition below)

    If an individual is exposed to COVID and is current on COVID-19 vaccination (three doses of either Pfizer or Moderna for those 18 and older and currently two doses for those under 18) or have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days 

    • They do not need to quarantine and can go to school or work and participate in activities
    • It is recommended they wear a mask for 10 days after an exposure.
    • Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should seek testing at the onset of any symptoms.  

     

    Individuals Who Are Exposed and NOT Current on Vaccinations (see definition below)

    If an individual is exposed to COVID and is NOT current on COVID-19 vaccination (three doses of either Pfizer or Moderna for those 18 and older and currently two doses for those under 18) or has not had COVID-19 in the last 90 days 

    • It is recommended they quarantine at home for five days and wear a mask at school for five days after quarantine OR wear a mask for 10 days at school following an exposure.
    • Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should seek testing at the onset of any symptoms.

     

    Test to Stay

    On February 2, 2022, Governor Cox signed HB183 which changes the Test to Stay requirements for schools. Under this law, school districts are only required to conduct a Test to Stay event when it has been determined that such an event would be effective in limiting the spread of COVID-19 based on the currently-circulating variant. The timeframe for counting cases towards a Test to Stay threshold will be determined by the estimated incubation period of the currently-circulating variant. It has been determined that Test to Stay is not an effective means of controlling the Omicron variant. Therefore, the Test to Stay is currently not authorized as an option for schools.

    Click here for more information:  Test to Stay Guidance from the UT Dept. of Health.