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Covid Protocols for Families, 2022-23

This document is intended to summarize the district’s updated Covid protocols, which are aligned with the NJDOH’s most recent health guidance, dated August 29, 2022, and developed in consultation with the district’s local health official. The document is not intended to cover every situation or to provide an inflexible, authoritative mandate. Rather it is designed to inform families of the required and recommended protocols and mitigation strategies to keep students and staff safe. Because nuances exist in the application of the general guidance to specific circumstances, parents are encouraged to seek the advice of the school nurses, who regularly consult with the district’s local health official. The district will continue to rely on the direction and advice of the local health official, even if such advice conflicts at times with the guidelines outlined below. 

It is still recommended that families continue screening their children for symptoms each morning. The goal is to keep healthy students in school and Covid-infected and other sick students at home. 

Masks (Optional)

Masks are optional in school and on buses. The district reserves the right to return to a universal mask requirement if community transmission levels rise or other circumstances warrant. The district also reserves the right to require certain individuals or groups to wear masks if an outbreak occurs within the schools or if an individual becomes symptomatic in school. We will continue to monitor the data and consult with our local health official. 

Isolation Guidelines Summary (Mandatory)

If your child has Covid-19 symptoms or has tested positive, your child must stay home from school. Please notify the school nurse and the main office as soon as possible.

If your child has symptoms:

  • Isolate at home for 5 days (day 1 is the day after symptoms started). 
  • Go back to school on day 6, only if no fever for 24 hours without fever medicine and other symptoms have improved. If symptoms persist, continue to isolate until symptoms resolve.
  • If no symptoms on day 6, return to school and normal activity. It is recommended that the student wears a well-fitted mask at all times in public for days 6-10.

If your child has tested positive, but has no symptoms:

  • Isolate at home for 5 days (day 1 is the day after the test was taken). 
  • Go back to school on day 6.
  • It is recommended that the student wears a well-fitted mask at all times in public for days 6-10.
  • If symptoms start, stay home for 5 more days and until symptom free.

Quarantine Guidelines Summary (Recommended)

Children exposed to Covid-19 should stay home, unless they are up to date with their Covid vaccines or had Covid-19 within the last 90 days. If your child is exposed outside of school, notify the school nurse and main office as soon as possible.

“Exposed” outside of school means contact (within 6 feet for 15 minutes of cumulative time during a 24-hour period) with someone who has Covid during the contagious period, which begins 48 hours before symptoms started or before a positive test.

“Up to date” means children ages 12 and up who had two doses and a booster if the second dose was administered more than 5 months prior to the exposure, or children ages 5-11 who had two doses.

If not up to date, children who are close contacts should:  

  • Stay home for 5 days.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask at all times in public for days 6-10.
  • If symptoms start, follow the isolation guidelines above and get tested. 

It is recommended that children who are close contacts and not up to date with their vaccines get tested during days 5-7 after their last contact with the positive individual. 

Household Close Contact Guidelines (Recommended)

Contact with a confirmed positive household member is automatically considered a household close contact.  

Household contacts who cannot isolate themselves from the household member with Covid-19 should start their quarantine period on the day after the household member with Covid-19 would have completed the 10-day isolation period. The total quarantine period would be 15 days.

If the household member with Covid-19, however, is able to consistently wear a well-fitted mask in the household through day 10, the quarantine period for the close contact would start on the day after the household member completes the 5-day isolation period. The total quarantine period would be 10 days.

Children with an alternate diagnosis (for example, strep throat, influenza, worsening of chronic illness) supported by clinical evaluation and confirmed with a written doctor’s note can return to school when their symptoms improve and they are fever free without medication for 24 hours.

Contact Tracing Guidelines (When circumstances warrant)

The district will no longer conduct regular contact tracing of individual cases, unless the number of cases and related circumstances, as determined in consultation with our local health official, warrant further investigation. General notices regarding cases may be sent to families when the circumstances warrant such notice, but it will be the families’ responsibility to follow the recommendations outlined above.

Current K-12 close contact exception: In the K–12 indoor classroom setting or a structured outdoor setting where mask use can be observed, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. 

Remote Learning (Optional)

If directed to stay home by the health office because the student has tested positive or has Covid symptoms and is well enough, the student has the option to participate in school remotely.

The district reserves the right to make changes to these protocols.