Message from the HPS Health & Safety Team: COVID-19 Status & Recommending Masking, Encouraging Virtual Meetings
There has been an increase in COVID-19 cases among students and staff in the past few weeks, as demonstrated by the chart below. Additionally, Hartford Country is now considered to have a “High” COVID-19 Community Level by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC recommends wearing a mask when indoors in public in an area with high community levels.
In recognition of the increase in staff and student cases, and in accordance with CDC recommendations, the HPS Health & Safety Team is strongly recommending all staff and students wear a mask when inside any HPS building.
In an effort to encourage masking, all schools will continue to have masks readily available for staff and students. The Health & Safety Team also strongly encourages the wearing of masks at all indoor events, including proms, banquets, athletic events, graduations, and promotion ceremonies.
Additionally, masking may be required for specific cohorts in the event of a significant number of positive cases within that cohort. The Health & Safety Team, in consultation with the District Medical Director, will determine on a case-by-case basis when a masking requirement is necessary. All staff, students, and families impacted by a cohort masking requirement will be notified prior to the requirement taking effect.
<REMINDER> Distancing & Other Mitigation Strategies
As a reminder, the RTLA Manual requires that 3 feet of distance be maintained between students attending in-school assemblies.
The Health & Safety Team reminded all staff of the importance of following mitigation strategies, including:
- Physical distancing to the extent possible and remaining at least 6 feet away from other individuals especially when eating/drinking.
- Principals sending letters to the class or school community when a positive case is reported in the building.
- Wearing a mask for 10 days after testing positive for COVID, and considering wearing a mask if made aware of a positive case in your building.
- Testing for COVID-19 either using an at-home test kit or at a pharmacy or other testing site if you:
- feel unwell or have any symptoms that could be associated with COVID-19
- have had an exposure to someone suspected of having COVID-19
- have recently traveled out of state using public transportation (e.g., air, train, bus)
- have attended any large group events (e.g., concerts, weddings or similar events, etc.)
- Following quarantine guidance as appropriate for your vaccination status if you have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19.
- Not reporting to work or school if you tested positive for COVID-19 or are feeling ill and 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, and any other symptoms that are different from your baseline health