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Temple Shalom Nursery School Covid Protocols, January 2022

Our diligence and fortitude are once again tested as we are dealing with the surge of the omicron variant of COVID-19.  As we continually adapt our response to changing circumstances we want to give you our assurance that it is our combined priority to keep your families safe and the school open. Our goal is to keep the children outdoors as much as possible. It is critical that all children come to school dressed appropriately for the weather.

We realize that this goal faces many challenges and we strongly encourage every family to evaluate the individual  levels of risk and to choose the most appropriate pattern of returning to school.  Please carefully read our plan and policies below.

In order to develop these protocols, we sought advice and extensive input from medical professionals who are part of the Temple Shalom community.  All professionals consulted have a wide range of expertise including pediatric medicine and infectious disease.

These policies will be evaluated again the week of Jan 23rd and we will update the community on any changes.

Masking

  • If tolerated, children are strongly encouraged to wear KN95 or KF94 masks when attending school (one reputable source for purchasing masks is https://shop.projectn95.org/masks/
  • Masks must be worn indoors and are strongly encouraged outdoors. All mask breaks will take place outdoors

Snacks & Meals

  • As much as possible, snacks and lunches will be eaten outdoors
  • We encourage parents to send food to school that is easy to eat outdoors (food that can be eaten with gloves and mittens on, such as wraps)

Testing

  • If a rapid test is positive than the child is assumed to be positive
  • Pool testing will be performed 2x/week on Tuesdays and Thursdays
  • If one of the pools is positive, everyone from the pool will quarantine and the vendor will test individual vials
  • If the cases are identified from the individual vials then those children that are positive must go into isolation for 10 days (see below), children who are negative remain in quarantine for 7 days (see below).
  • If individual vials cannot be run (samples have degraded), then everyone in the pool will continue to quarantine until a negative PCR test on day 5 (please see Exposure and Quarantine procedures below)

Symptoms

  • If your child has any symptoms of COVID-19 they must present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of returning to school. Please, be advised that because the Omicron variant often presents differently, the list of symptoms was revised: 

    Fever of  100℉ or higher
    Chills or shaking chills
    Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
    New loss of taste or smell
    Muscle aches or body aches
    Cough 
    New or increased nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) 
    Sore throat or complains about neck pain
    Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
    Headache
    Fatigue, when in combination with any other symptom

To return to school  (In addition to a negative PCR test)

  • Symptoms clearly improving including no fever for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication
  • Child must be able to participate in all activities
  • Child must be able to eat regular diet

Exposures & Quarantine

Definition of close contact: 
Indoors, closer than 6 feet for more than 15 cumulative minutes over the course of a day regardless of masking

Exposed and Asymptomatic: 

  • A child who is exposed and is asymptomatic must quarantine for 5 days. Day Zero is considered to be the day of the child’s last exposure. 

  • Child must take a PCR test on day five

  • If the PCR test is negative, the child can return to school on day 7

For example: 

  • Exposure takes place on December 1

  • PCR can be taken as soon as December 6

  • Return to School no sooner than December 8 if PCR is negative

Exposed and Symptomatic: 

  • If a child develops COVID-19 symptoms they must go into isolation.
  • If a PCR test is negative and a doctor provides an alternative explanation (e.g., strep or flu), the child can come back to school with a doctor’s note, otherwise they should stay at home for 10 days

Confirmed Infection

  • Child must isolate for 10 days either from onset of symptoms or from the date of a positive test if they are asymptomatic.
  • After 10 days the child may leave isolation so long as their symptoms have significantly improved. They must be fever-free without the use of a fever reducing medication for 24 hours

Staff 

  • If exposed, fully vaccinated adults are not required to quarantine and can remain at work while asymptomatic and rapid testing shows negative results.
  • If Covid-positive, asymptomatic adults will isolate and return to work after day 5
  • If Covid-positive and have symptoms,  adults will isolate for at least five days and return to work after symptoms improve including being fever free for at least 24 hours without fever reducing medication.

Program Closure 

  • In the event that we cannot maintain appropriate student/teacher ratios we will be obligated to close school until quarantined staff are able to return.
  • Our goal is to keep school open. Thank you again for your partnership!
Sun, January 16 2022 14 Sh'vat 5782