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COVID Protocols

The Road Forward and CDC guidance and aligned to Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 251. These protocols are subject to change if we receive any new guidance from the NJ Department of Health, Governor or the CDC.


Masks

Per the Governor’s Executive Order 251, masks are required for all individuals indoors in district and school buildings no matter your vaccination status. There are exceptions which are listed in the Order (on page four, section one). As a public school district, we must follow this Order; masks are being mandated by the Governor and it is not a local board of education decision. The Order is explicit that boards of education and other governing bodies cannot override the Order. Mask mandates can only be modified or revoked by the Governor. It is important to note that per an exception by the CDC, if students are properly wearing masks indoors, there will be no quarantine needed for close contacts. 

Masks are not required to be worn outdoors, even during Physical Education class.


Screenings

Though the district is not requiring parents complete a daily pre-screening survey, parents are expected to screen their own children prior to sending them to school. If your child has the symptoms as identified per the New Jersey Department of Health, the child should not come to school. These symptoms include:

At least two of the following symptoms: fever (measure or subjective), chills, rigor (shivers), myalgia (muscle aches), headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, congestion, or runny nose; OR at least one of the following symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of smell, loss of taste.


COVID-19 Positive Cases

If any student, either vaccinated or unvaccinated, tests positive for COVID-19, please report the positive case to the nurse so we can contact trace as needed.


Quarantining and Isolation

Quarantining and Isolating is still in effect for ill individuals or those who test positive for COVID-19 as follows:

  • Ill individuals with COVID-like symptoms who have not been tested or individuals who tested positive for COVID-19 should stay home until at least 10 days have passed from symptom onset and at least 24 hours have passed after resolution of fever without fever-reducing medications and improvement in symptoms, or 7 days with a negative test result collected at 5-7 days. Please note that if Bergen County is at High level for COVID-19 activity quarantine is 14 days, no testing out of quarantine. Levels are determined by the NJ Department of Health.
  • Persons who test positive for COVID-19 but who are asymptomatic should stay home for 10 days from the positive test result. Again please note that if Bergen County is at High level for COVID-19 activity quarantine is 14 days and there is no testing out of quarantine.
  • An alternate diagnosis (including a positive strep test or influenza swab) without a negative COVID-19 test is not acceptable for individuals who meet COVID-19 exclusion criteria to return to school earlier than the time frames above. Questions regarding this should be directed to your child’s school nurse. 

Close Contacts and Quarantine

The CDC has an exception for close contacts in K-12 indoor classroom settings as follows: “the close contact definition excludes students who are within 3-6 feet of an infected student if both the infected student and exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time.” Therefore, if students are wearing masks over their mouth and nose indoors, there is no quarantine required for close contacts.

In circumstances where masks are not worn, such as lunches, PE class, sports, etc., the following guidelines will be followed for close contacts:

  • Unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 should be excluded from school and quarantine for 10 days, or 7 days with a negative test result collected at 5-7 days. If Bergen County COVID-19 activity level reaches High, close contacts should be excluded from school and quarantine for 14 days. Again, please note that COVID-19 Activity Levels are determined by the New Jersey Department of Health.
  • Exposed close contacts who are fully vaccinated and have no COVID-like symptoms:
    • Do not need to quarantine, be excluded from school, or be tested following an exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.
    • Should still monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 for 14 days following an exposure.
    • If they experience symptoms, they should isolate themselves from others, be clinically evaluated for COVID-19, including SARS-CoV-2 testing and inform their health care provider of their vaccination status at the time of presentation to care.

If your child has been vaccinated for COVID-19, please consider sending in a copy of the vaccination record to the nurse so that they may add it to your child’s immunization file and it will assist with contact tracing if needed. The vaccine is not a requirement, but it is a great way to keep your student’s records updated and all in one place should you need a copy.


Schoolwork While on Quarantine

Students who are quarantined due to exposure at school will receive a Zoom link to log in and attend class virtually. If your child is exposed to COVID outside of school and has to quarantine, they will be given asynchronous work.  Again, virtual instruction is offered for quarantined students only per the NJ Department of Education. For students in grades K-5, it may take up to 3 days for the teacher to prepare for remote instruction and up to 2 days for students in grades 6-12. While we hope and believe that it will not take this long, we wanted to provide teachers with adequate time to plan and prepare for remote learning. 

Quarantined students should also be checking their classes daily to keep up with assignments. If students need extra help; please email the teacher for an appointment.

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