Health & Safety Update 3/25/22
<REMINDER> Masks Optional Effective Monday, March 28
HPS will shift to a mask-optional status for all students, staff, and visitors, effective Monday, March 28. Guidance and data from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), the CT Department of Public Health (DPH), and the CT State Department of Education indicate that our schools can now operate safely without a universal masking requirement. For example, the CDC’s updated metrics put Hartford County in the “green,” where universal masking is not recommended. Additionally, the number of COVID-19 cases among our students and staff have continued to rapidly decrease in recent weeks.
Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 will still need to isolate for at least 5 days, must be symptom-free before returning to school or work (to be verified by the school nurse for students or District Health & Safety Liaison for staff), and will be required to wear a mask for days 6-10 after the positive test. Masks will still be available in every school for all students and staff. We also recommend that everyone follow the CDC’s recommendations on masking.
All other mitigation strategies such as distancing to the extent possible, cohorting, frequent hand-washing, utilizing outdoor spaces when possible, and notifications of positive cases to school communities and on the District’s COVID-19 dashboard will remain in place. It is also extremely important to not report to work and fill out Kokomo if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Fever of 100.0°F or above, or feeling feverish
- New uncontrolled cough
- New loss of taste or smell
- Other significant symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, congestion that are different from your baseline health
<NEW> RTLA Manual Updated
The District’s Return to Learn Health & Safety Plan for SY 2021-22 has been updated to ensure our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) reflect current guidance and standards for preventing and managing COVID-19 in our schools. Click here to view the updated RTLA Plan.
Some important updates include:
- Changes to multiple SOPs to reflect the District’s mask-optional status as of March 28
- Removal of mask requirement on buses
- Removal of assigned seating and contact tracing requirements
- Allowing mixing cohorts in certain limited circumstances, subject to approval by Health & Safety Team in consultation with the school’s EDSL
- Removal of language favoring virtual meetings and clarification that in-person staff meetings must still be physically distanced
- Updates to Kokomo daily wellness screener requirements to reflect that unvaccinated staff are required to complete Kokomo if they have a known exposure to someone with COVID-19, and that all staff must complete Kokomo if they test positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic
<NEW> Upcoming Vaccine Clinics
It’s not too late to get vaccinated! Vaccination is still the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from COVID-19. We will be partnering with Griffin Health, the CT DPH, and the Hartford Health Department to present a week of free COVID-19 vaccination clinics for students ages 5 and older, families, staff, and the community. First, second, and booster doses will be available at all vaccine clinics. All clinics will take place daily from 4:00pm-7:00pm the week of March 28th. For more information and the schedule of vaccine clinic locations, click here.
If you have questions, please call the HPS Health Services department at 860-695 8760.