Dear Panther Families,
I am writing to provide an update of where we are in terms of COVID and navigating school in Plan A. Pioneer has yet to see a positive COVID case, however, we are not naive enough to believe that we won’t. Pioneer continues to work tirelessly to follow CDC guidelines and recommended protocols for cleaning and disinfecting all areas of campus to mitigate the risk of exposure for our students and staff.
In an effort to speed up potential mitigation efforts with contact tracing, we have entered into an agreement with RiverStone Health to train and designate members of our staff as public health officials. Yesterday, Mrs. Rau and I went through training with RiverStone Health and were deputized as public health officials so that we may begin contact tracing immediately should a positive case present itself within our district.
Below, I have outlined a few important definitions and what will take place when and if we see a positive COVID case in our school.
Isolation: Isolation is for those experiencing symptoms. It is separating positive cases from all other people. Those identified as COVID positive should isolate for ten (10) days (20 days for an immunocompromised person) from the start date of symptoms AND until symptoms have improved and the person is fever free for 24 hours. If you are COVID positive and have no symptoms, you are in isolation for a minimum of ten (10) days (20 days for an immunocompromised person) from the positive test date. County health will give final clearance.
Quarantine: Quarantine is the separation and restriction of movement for those people who have had close contact with a positive COVID case or are at high risk of having COVID-19, as determined by the health department. Close Contact is a term used for those that have been within 6 feet of a COVID positive person for 15 minutes or more with or without a mask. You would be considered a close contact if you meet that criteria two days prior to the infected person’s symptoms or positive test result (if a positive person has no symptoms) as the contagious period in a person infected with COVID-19 begins 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms. If you have contact at any time during the positive COVID person’s isolation, the 14-day quarantine countdown begins on the last day of exposure. Quarantine CANNOT be ended with a negative COVID test because the incubation period for COVID is a full 14 days.
Should a positive COVID case present itself in our district, RiverStone Health will contact the district. Mrs. Rau or I will begin contract tracing immediately. We will reach out to families of students who meet the definition of “Close Contact” to begin their quarantine period immediately. All information will be kept confidential and handled as such, relaying necessary information to RiverStone Health only.
Truly, the importance of wearing a mask and distancing is incredibly important. The procedures we use in school helps prevent a spiraling of the situation into a wider spread issue. This is why we are so strict with our sick policy and COVID Guidelines when advising parents about their symptomatic students. We are doing our utmost best to protect our students and staff. The functioning of our school and ability to remain in school depends upon the containment of COVID-19 when and if an outbreak were to occur and we appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we navigate these challenges.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.
Be well, Panthers!
Principal/Superintendent, Pioneer Elementary