I hope everyone had a peaceful Thanksgiving break and you were able to in some way connect with others. I appreciate that so many of you have made holiday plan sacrifices in order to keep us all safe at school.
Governor Newsom Upcoming Announcements
As you have probably heard, over the next few days the state will be issuing further guidance regarding tighter COVID-19 restrictions. From what we understand, the lockdown will look similar to what took place this Spring, with the exception that schools will not be impacted. Schools that are open will be allowed to stay open, as there is a growing body of evidence that community spread is not happening within the school setting. This point was also reiterated in a recent conversation I had with officials at the Contra Costa Department of Public Health.
Regular On-Campus COVID-19 Testing For All Students and Staff
We are working with PMH Laboratory in Southern California to provide testing for all students and staff on a regular basis. PMH Labs provides Nasal Swab PCR tests (this is the one that does the inside of the nostril) and is currently experiencing 48-60 hour turnaround time for test results. There will be no cost to parents as PMH Labs will bill your insurance company directly.
Our first all-school test date will be Wednesday, December 9th. We would like to schedule the preschool through kindergarten students at the end of the day so parents can accompany their child during the testing. More information including schedule times, forms needed, how to get results and logistical details will be sent out Friday morning. We will collect forms on Monday morning at drop off.
A Change in How We Look at Symptoms
As our knowledge of COVID-19 evolves so too does our response to it. When we started the year we were requiring a COVID-19 test for the most common of symptoms, even a runny nose. While we are still requiring students to stay home if they have any symptoms, we will not be requiring a COVID-19 test in all situations. With some of the “lesser” symptoms, we will be requiring students to only stay home until they are symptom-free for 24 hours. Below are our new procedures for when the school will be requiring a COVID-19 test.
If your child has one or more of the “Yellow Flag” symptoms (sore throat, runny nose, ache, fever of 100.4 or more, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea), please follow the guidelines below.
New CDC Guidance on Quarantine
As you may know, the CDC has changed its quarantine guidance from 14 days to 10 or 7 days depending on testing. We will wait for guidance from the state and county before adopting any change to our current quarantine policy.
Once again I want to thank everyone for helping keep your students in school, or supporting us as best as you can when engaged in distance learning. The good news is that there is light at the end of this tunnel and things will get back to normal. But for now, please follow the distancing, masking and social protocols.
Looking forward to the day when I get to tell my grandchildren about 2020…..