School Testing and Vaccination Guidelines.
September 22, 2022
Dear LREI Community,
Thank you for your patience as we examined our Covid procedures and policies. I ask that you read this message carefully. It has two parts - 1) our thoughts on vaccines and 2) additional reminders about your family’s part in keeping the community healthy.
We feel strongly that the Covid vaccines, including the current updated third dose that specifically protects against Omicron strains, are hugely important in keeping each of us healthy and in doing our parts to keep the community healthy. Click here
to read the CDC’s recommendations.
That said, we have decided not to require the newly formulated third dose (booster) for students 12 and up. Students younger than 12 are required to have a full series, but do not have to have an additional dose, if they have not already received one.
However, we urge you to consider additional doses and to consult with your child’s health care provider to see what makes the most sense for your child/children. In addition to shortening the period of illness and contagion, additional doses can decrease the risk of developing long Covid. Also, any reduction in transmission, any shortening of the period of contagion, protects those who cannot receive the vaccine or are otherwise immunocompromised. We are eager to avoid a significant Covid impact on the school days/weeks after Thanksgiving as we move towards Winter Break. This has been a significant issue over the past two years.
Again, I urge you to have your child receive an additional dose if it is available to them and if it is not medically contraindicated. I cannot stress this strongly enough. An additional dose of Covid-19 vaccine will protect your child, your family, the school community, and others. The more of us who have additional doses the more likely it is that we will miss fewer days of school.
In the event of a more serious outbreak, if the level of infection returns to where it was last year, it is possible we may require a booster in order to participate in extracurricular activities (sports, theater, etc.) It is also possible that if we find ourselves in a serious spike in infections that we will require a recent additional dose/booster for your child to stay in school. We cannot predict the course of the virus over the next year, but we can predict that those who are vaccinated will have more options if the level of infection increases significantly.
Finally, we reserve the right to require additional doses moving forward.
Our first and most important reminder is for all families to be aware of their child’s daily well being and to respond if their child is exhibiting any symptoms of Covid-19 or any symptoms of any childhood illness, for that matter. Each family should create their own daily health check and respond to any symptoms of illness that their child is experiencing.
If your child has a fever, please keep them home until they have been fever-free, without medication, for 24 hours and until they are able to handle lingering symptoms independently.
If your child has had an upset stomach with vomiting and/or diarrhea, do not send them back to school until they are symptom-free for 24 hours. Gastrointestinal viruses can be very contagious and spread through classrooms quickly.
Strongly consider having your child receive the flu shot to protect against what may be a more prevalent flu virus this season.
If your child has any symptoms of Covid-19, please have them take two rapid tests 24 hours apart, using an at-home rapid test. If either test is positive, let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
If your child tests positive they must stay home for 5 days and can return on day 6. Day 0 is the day of symptom onset or the day of positive test if asymptomatic.
After testing positive, your child must mask through day 10.
Close contacts are encouraged to mask and should test on day 5.
Masks must be worn if exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 in school.
Masks must be worn in the nurse’s office at all times.
If a symptomatic student is staying home pending negative tests, siblings should mask in school and isolate from the symptomatic sibling/parent at home.
If a person sharing a living space is diagnosed with COVID-19, please let the nurses know so an individual family-based plan can be developed and implemented.
As needed we will ask small groups/grades to mask for short periods to slow the spread of Covid-19.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com.