As WCS prepares for the holiday break, we wish to thank everyone for the amazing adaptability that has been required. This first semester has been full of many challenges; the dedication of WCS staff made it a great success for our community. Prior to Thanksgiving break, some pivots had to be made on relatively short notice due to a lack of staffing. Moving the high school and middle schools to four days of remote learning enabled many gaps in support staff to be filled or replenished. At the same time, everyone made the needed pivots to continue to provide a world-class education for our students. As we move forward, it is likely additional modifications may be needed. We are continually collaborating with the local and state health department. Daily reviews are made in staffing, student health concerns, and community COVID-19 numbers. To ensure safety under the current conditions, modifications have also been made for extra-curricular and community events at all levels.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has issued revised quarantine guidelines.
These guidelines have been adopted by our local and state health departments and follow the scientific data that has been collected within schools locally and nationwide. Kosciusko County Health Department (KCHD) recently provided the following information to our community on these changes and the processes needed for timely and accurate testing under the new guidance:
“The quarantine is changed to 10 days for the close contact who remains asymptomatic. They should continue to monitor for symptoms of illness through day 14 and stay home if symptoms occur.”
Previously, students in close contact with a confirmed positive case were quarantined 14 days. Under the updated CDC guidance, this is reduced to 10 days for students who remain asymptomatic during quarantine. Students will continue to get a “return to school date” when they are a confirmed close contact.
Under the new guidance, an assigned quarantine can be reduced to 7 days after a student takes a COVID test on day 5 or later of the quarantine. This COVID test on day 5 or later must have a negative result and the student must remain asymptomatic. While the change allows for a 7 day option, availability to use this option may be limited by the increasing shortage of testing materials. The State Health Department directions also specify not to divert testing resources “just to shorten quarantine.” Regardless, these updated CDC guidelines do allow healthy students to re-enter school in a more timely manner than the previous 14 day quarantine.
WCS is currently working with local COVID-19 testing sites. Warsaw Community Schools would like to thank KCHD for their ongoing support as we navigate this change. Health officials continue to stress the importance of implementing mitigation measures to decrease transmission: wash hands; wear masks; socially distance. Updates are available on the district website at https://www.warsawschools.org.
Download: INFOGRAPHIC CDC Change Guide