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St. Joseph Catholic School  FAITH - ACADEMICS - SERVICE
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NEWSFLASH

January 11, 2022

 
Dear Parents/Guardians,
 
As you are likely aware, we are currently experiencing a widespread surge in COVID cases due to the Omicron variant.  As of Friday, January 7th, the Washington State Department of Health has outlined new guidelines for our K-12 schools.  We will be following those guidelines and protocols effective immediately. The main changes are summarized below:
 
CLOSE CONTACT
  • If students are fully vaccinated through their eligibility status and are exposed to someone with COVID-19, they are NOT considered a close contact and may continue attending school, while wearing a properly fitting mask and watching for any symptoms.
  • If students are not vaccinated completely through their eligibility status and are exposed to someone with COVID-19, they are considered a close contact and must quarantine at home for days 0-5 (day 0 is last known date of close contact). Students may return on day 6 if the following criteria are met:  
    • Receive a negative test on day 5 to return on day 6. Tests can be PCR or rapid antigen but may NOT be performed at home. *negative test may not be taken before day 5
    • Students must remain symptom free for days 6-10 and wear a properly fitting mask 
*For household exposures, the last close contact date is the last day the person with COVID-19 is considered infectious AND is in contact with the student. If you need assistance with this timeline, please reach out so we can assist you.
 
COVID-19 POSITIVE 
Anyone who tests positive (either by PCR or rapid antigen test) for COVID-19 should isolate at home regardless of vaccination status. Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 may return to school when the following criteria are met:
  • 5 days have passed since symptom onset, or since positive test collection date if no symptoms are present; OR
  • Symptoms are resolving and no fever within the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications; AND
  • Negative PCR or rapid antigen test on day 5 for return on day 6 (test may NOT be performed at home); AND
  • Students must remain symptom free (or see continued symptom improvement) for days 6-10 and wear a properly fitting mask.
Anyone who has qualifying symptoms, but chooses not to test must assume COVID-19 positivity and isolate for days 0-10 (day 0 being symptom onset), returning on day 11 if:
  • No symptoms are present; OR 
  • Symptoms are resolving and no fever within the past 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
*Symptom evaluation and illness flowcharts remain unchanged at this time. Should any revisions to these documents be adopted by our local health jurisdiction, we will communicate changes to you. 
 
Our goal at St. Joseph is to keep everyone safe while continuing student in-person learning. However, our reality is that a high volume of localized COVID cases paired with newly published protocols may put a strain on staffing and supervision which could force a revision to our instructional modality.  Additionally, should we see a percentage of students out due to COVID-related illness, the protocols will force the same revision in modality. This scenario could happen either at the classroom or school level and if it does you can anticipate the following:
  • Notification will be sent home to affected families as soon as possible. 
  • Day 1 will be a preparation day (no remote learning) unless otherwise notified by the classroom teacher. 
  • After Day 1, remote learning will begin in grades K-8. Students/families will receive class-specific information from teachers. Supply pickup will be implemented if it is necessary and deemed appropriate. 
  • Regular communication will be sent out regarding anticipated return dates based on protocols.
  • Should a schoolwide closure be implemented, no extended care will be available. 
*Should a teacher need to stay home to quarantine/isolate due to COVID-related illness/exposure and another staff member or substitute teacher is available to supervise the class, students will report to school as normal. 
 
*Should individual students need to stay home to quarantine/isolate due to COVID-related illness/exposure, current remote learning protocols will remain in place. 
 
I am very aware that these potential scenarios may place hardship and uncertainty on your households and for that I apologize. I ask for your grace as we continue to navigate the persistent challenges this pandemic presents. 
 
We will continue to keep you informed of any changes to the COVID guidelines, processes and protocols. We thank all of our students, staff and families for ensuring these are followed - this helps keep our school community as safe as possible - and enables us to continue to deliver in-person learning. 
 
God Bless,
Mary Yamoah



 
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