Dear I.C. School Families,
You may have heard that one of our priests has tested Covid+. Even though names of Covid+ people may be common knowledge, I do NOT state names to adhere to HIPPA regulations unless the situation calls for it and permission is granted. Both priests are now in quarantine for 10-14 days, depending on onset of symptoms and information, received through the ADH. The church office is also closed this week and there will be no school prayer services or Masses.
This past week, we experienced an escalation of students/staff that had to be quarantined because they are “probable close contacts” or were determined to be “close contacts”.
For your reference: PCC is a possible close contact, CC is a close contact, and SC is a secondary contact. POC is "point of contact" and I represent that for our school.
The difference between one and the other: I was a PCC last Monday and moved to a CC when one of my granddaughters tested +. My mom was considered to be a “secondary” contact to me. One of our staff was a SC contact to me because we did duty last Monday morning together and she made a decision to quarantine until my tests results returned. Office/school staff were none of the above because they did not come under the “6’ for a cumulative time of 15 minutes or more” rule. My P of D student last Monday was a SC because at that time I was a PCC and she remained in that status even when I became a CC. She would have become a CC had I tested +. Immediately on coming home last Monday, I called the parent to report the circumstances. Mom decided to keep students home until my test returned. BTW: she was most gracious even though I felt very bad about it.
The cases have increased in AR and in our area. So far, all of our people quarantined because they are a PCC, CC, or SC. SC contacts are NOT required to quarantine although quite a few of our parents do so with their students to be extra cautionary.
I want to restate the protocols and information that have been implemented for school and need to continue:
· All students and staff/adults are to wear masks in the fashion that was used at the beginning of school. More and more students the past few weeks have been coming to school without masks. We have extra but my concern is that parents are becoming lax about this practice.
· We will continue to take temps, including ours
· Use desk shields as much as possible.
· Continue to sanitize often; wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
· Keep students in cohort groups (classes) separated from others- cafeteria, playground, restrooms, etc.
· “Inside” specials, will sanitize between classes that come to rooms: art, music, library, Heather, etc.
· Encourage social distancing, leaving at least six feet between others when at all possible
· Avoid close contact with those who are sick
· Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your sleeve
· Avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose
· No bringing lunch or materials to school after 8:00am
I have had a few questions about close contact with our priest last week. All Saints Program is not a problem. After reviewing the video, he was not closer to anyone for 6’ for more than 15 minutes cumulatively. The same holds true for Mass on Friday. The closest he would have come was during communion. He would have been less than 6’ to others during the distribution of communion but not the other qualifier of 15 minutes or more.
Other precautions that I want to brace up are visitors/vendors in school.
· I have asked Mrs. Ketter to disable all key fobs for school except staff
- In the beginning, I didn’t have this done because parents were staying at front doors. However, in the past few weeks they have been using their fobs more often to enter the buildings to get their child for appointments.
- Mrs. Hines and Mrs. Felcher do their best to prevent this from happening but if they are occupied with other needs, parents will often use their fobs
· Mrs. Hines and Mrs. Felcher will arrange for a small table or desk to be placed on front porch and place the checkout book on it. That will keep the exchange even safer
- ALL visitors should stay at front doors
- Vendors will continue to sanitize at front doors and have their temps checked before entrance
- Parents should state their needs via front door intercom and students will be taken to them at front doors
- Parents who are CC should call for assistance with materials/CB's and these items will be left at front doors. CC parents MAY NOT enter school building
I want to reiterate how suspected PCC, CC, and Covid cases are handled by me.
· I have two contacts for communication regarding Covid. The first is a contact at the diocese and the 2nd is a person at the ADH. I ALWAYS speak with these 2 people for consistency
· When I receive information that a student/staff MIGHT need to quarantine or might have been exposed to Covid, I ALWAYS follow the same protocols regardless if the circumstances are exactly the same as a previous situation and no matter how often it occurs.
· I keep a Covid binder that documents each time a report is made and when I make a call. I record the name, events, time called, and recommendations.
o I am told at that time if a person is a PCC (no need for quarantine unless person becomes a CC), a CC and then the person must quarantine regardless of mandatory test results, SC- no quarantine or further steps needed unless person becomes a CC, or Covid+ (quarantine/test required from day of exposure or 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms)
o Occasionally, I have to call back when my contacts have a question and I don’t know answer
o I try and record when someone tells me their child will be virtual because they are not feeling well or experiencing allergy symptoms, just as a precaution
· All students/staff that are a CC MUST have a Covid test and supply test results to me BEFORE returning to school. That is added to my Covid binder
· In addition to the above information, there is a difference between isolation and quarantine. Quarantine is required when a person is a CC. Isolation means that a Covid+ person MUST completely be isolated from other family members in a room or other residence for the time period required to prevent the spread of Covid to a CC
o In the event that a Covid+ person DOES NOT isolate, an additional 14 day quarantine is required of the CC
o To date, there has only been one incidence of this happening in our school
· If a student/staff becomes a PCC or CC during the school day, the child(ren)/staff are immediately removed from the classroom, moved to an isolated room to await pickup.
o Rooms are emptied and immediately disinfected
o I confer and do the above stated protocols
· I also communicate with parents/families during the quarantine period to make sure everyone has the same understanding and expectations
· It is my desire and objective to remain calm, discreet, and treat each incident as I have been trained (ADH and Diocesan training required as school POC)
· I dispense information to only those affected, i.e. classroom teacher and others that fall within the rule of 6’ for 15 minutes are more. These are the first two questions asked EACH time!
· Please see flow chart attached
For the most part, parents have been great about informing me of what is going on and asking me for guidance, etc. and I truly appreciate you for doing that!
PLEASE NOTE: PARENTS MUST CONTACT ME TO REPORT IF THEY OR THEIR CHILDREN ARE COVID+, a CC, or a PCC
Be assured! Your children's best interest are of the greatest importance and everything within our abilities will be done to protect them!
Much love and can’t wait to be back at school!