Updated COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine Guidance

Dear CSD Staff and Families,

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and Lane County Public Health (LCPH) have recently updated their guidance to reflect the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine periods. Since the pandemic started, Creswell School District has adhered to OHA, LCPH, and Oregon Department of Education (ODE) guidelines. In accordance with these new recommendations, effective January 14th, CSD is shortening the isolation/quarantine timeline from 10 to 5 days if the student or staff is symptom free. School nurses will be reaching out to those currently quarantining and isolating to provide updated timelines for returning to school.

To return to school following the initial 5-day quarantine or isolation, students and staff are required to consistently wear a well-fitting mask when around others during the following 5 days (days 6-10).

  • During the first 5 days following quarantine/isolation (days 6-10), if consistent masking is not possible during an activity – including extracurricular activities and athletics – the individual cannot participate in that activity.
  • If students or staff are unable to consistently wear a well-fitting mask while around others, they will need to quarantine at home for 10 days.

As a reminder, masks are still required indoors for all staff and students during the school day.

Additional information is included below:

Quarantine

Fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 (close contacts) DO NOT need to quarantine. They DO need to consistently wear a well-fitting mask when around others for 10 days. They should also watch for symptoms and seek testing at least 5 days after their exposure.

Close contacts who are NOT fully vaccinated should quarantine for at least 5 days. If they remain asymptomatic, close contacts may return to school provided they:

  • Closely monitor for symptoms for 5 more days.
  • Consistently wear a well-fitting mask when around others during the 5 days after quarantine.
  • Seek testing at least 5 days after exposure. If they test positive or develop COVID-19 symptoms, they should follow recommendations for isolation.

Isolation

Regardless of vaccination status, students, teachers, and staff who have presumed or confirmed COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 must isolate at home and away from others for a minimum of 5 full days, with day 0 being the first day of symptoms. For those experiencing no symptoms, the date of the positive test is considered day 0.

If ill individuals continue experiencing a fever or have other symptoms that have not improved after 5 days of in-home isolation, they should extend their in-home isolation until they have been fever free for 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing medication, and other symptoms have improved.

Individuals should continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others at home and in public places for an additional 5 days (days 6-10) after the end of their 5-day isolation.

“Up to Date” status definition of COVID-19 vaccination

The CDC recommends that individuals remain up to date with their vaccinations. Within the K-12 setting, those who are up-to-date with their COVID-19 vaccination include:

  • Individuals 18+ who have received all recommended vaccine doses, including boosters and additional primary shots for some immunocompromised individuals.
  • Youth 5-17 years of age who have completed the primary series of COVID-19 vaccines.

I understand that it seems like recommendations are shifting constantly – they are. As we have all experienced, we are in a fluid situation and more changes are sure to arise. We will continue to keep you informed as we receive updates and thank you for your understanding, patience, and flexibility as the district adapts and implements updated guidance.

Sincerely,
Mike Johnson
Superintendent

COVID-19 Omicron Update

Dear Staff and Families,

As we have repeatedly shared throughout the school year, while our goal is to keep students in classrooms where we know they learn best, our highest priority is and remains the safety and health of our staff and students. In the face of the current Omicron surge that is impacting our district, I wanted to share how we are planning and adjusting to the shifting health landscape.

Currently, our schools are open and we will strive to keep students in our classrooms. We are, however, experiencing a high number of staff and student absences due to illness and have had to pause several extra-curricular activities due to positive COVID-19 cases and exposures; this morning alone, nearly 10% of our staff and over 300 students have reported absences. This raises concerns about significant staffing shortages to maintain district operations. To keep our schools operating in-person, we have implemented several strategies, including the use of substitutes and repurposing of district staff. Thank you to the many teachers who have subbed during preparatory periods, substitutes and emergency substitutes, principals, counselors, and other staff members who have worked diligently to cover classrooms, work shifts, supervision, and our health center. We will continue to do our best to remain in-person and avoid a closure or move to short-term remote learning, but we want to make everyone aware we are close to a potential tipping point.

We are monitoring our staffing levels, case counts, and numbers of students and staff isolating and quarantining daily. If we exhaust our resources and do not have staff available to continue on-site instruction in a safe environment, we may need to invoke a brief emergency closure of schools in order to give staff time to get back to health or temporarily transition to short-term remote learning until the surge subsides. In that event, families would receive updates and communications from schools, teachers, and the district about distributing technology and other information. Meal service would continue and we would provide details regarding meal pick-ups.

We understand the significant impact that these decisions create for families and do not undertake them lightly. Please know the health and safety of our students and staff will be at the forefront of every choice we make and that we will continue to educate and protect the wellbeing of every CSD student.

Please help us to do all we can to keep students in school. Families and staff play an important role by staying home in case of illness and continuing to practice our layered mitigation strategies, including wearing masks, distancing, and practicing good respiratory and hand-washing etiquette. Thank you for your understanding and support as we navigate these challenges together!

With kindest regards,

Mike Johnson
Superintendent

Creswell School Board Meeting: Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Creswell School Board Meeting for January 2022

The Creswell School Board will hold their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 2022 at 7:00 PM. This will be a virtual meeting. Review the meeting agenda (link)

Please click the link below to join the School Board Meeting as an audience member (Meeting registration required): https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_L_bGKWjgSryE4WZOwHQQIw (After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.)

The active weblink to view this meeting on YouTube will be provided here on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. Board Meeting Link:

Written comments will be accepted and should be sent by email to info@creswell.k12.or.us . Comments must be received by noon on Wednesday, January 12, 2022. Comments must be limited in length to be read in 3 minutes. Comments will be read into public record by the Board Chair at the meeting.

For more information, please contact Marilyn Cruzan at 541-895-6000

COVID-19 Updates / Extracurricular Activities

Dear CSD Staff and Families,

As you have likely seen in the news, the Centers for Disease Control recently released updated guidance, shortening quarantine and isolation recommendations for members of the general public who are exposed to COVID-19.

As state and local agencies evaluate these new guidelines for educational environments, Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Oregon Department of Education (ODE), and local public health authorities will clarify details for Oregon K-12 schools and update the Ready Schools, Safe Learners Resiliency Framework accordingly. Once we receive updated guidance from ODE, OHA, and Lane County Public Health (LCPH), we will evaluate and implement the changes necessary in our school procedures.

Until then, our current isolation and quarantine guidelines will remain in effect. As a reminder, under these guidelines, unvaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated students who are determined to have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive or is presumed positive for COVID-19 in school settings where universal masking is fully implemented* should quarantine for seven (7) days. If the close contact has a negative result on a test collected on day 7 by antigen or PCR test, they may return to normal activities on day eight (8). If a student chooses not to test, they must quarantine for 10 days.

*Note that the modified quarantine is not available to students whose exposure was outside of school or was at a time during or after the regular school day where masks were not consistently worn.

Current District Guidance on Extracurricular Activities

As activities move indoors, extracurricular activities do present an increased risk for transmission and exposure that may lead to isolation or quarantine for those who come into contact with individuals who test positive for COVID-19. In a School Health Advisory issued this week, OHA and ODE recommended that schools and other organizations should pause extracurricular activities OR ensure they follow the same layered mitigation safety protocols practiced during the school day.

At CSD, our goal for students is to “let them play” while taking every precaution possible to keep them and our community safe. Our kids deserve the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities; we also want to do everything possible to prevent the spread of COVID in our schools. We are currently continuing with our extracurricular activities and reviewing our safety protocols to protect the safety of our student participants, coaches, staff, and spectators. We request that you comply with the statewide indoor masking mandate and wear your mask while indoors attending our extracurricular activities. Additionally, wearing your mask at indoor extracurricular activities will help the district avoid non-compliance fees assessed by OSHA and OHA.

To minimize disruption of in-person learning due to quarantine and isolation, ODE and OHA ask for help from families and communities.

  • If your child is ill, do NOT send them to school. If they have COVID-19 symptoms, seek a COVID-19 test. Primary COVID-19 symptoms include cough, temperature of 100.4 F or higher, chills, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, or a new loss of taste or smell. Other symptoms include fatigue, muscle or body aches, headaches, sore throat, nasal congestion or runny nose, nausea, vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Get vaccinated now if you’re not. Vaccination remains the best protection against serious illness from COVID-19 and reduces spread of the disease. Get Vaccinated Oregon.
  • Get boosted if you’re not. If you’re eligible for a booster, make your appointment today. Boosters provide an extra layer of protection needed to slow spread of the omicron variant.
  • Limit gatherings with people from other households to the extent possible. If you are visiting people from another household, you should wear a mask, maintain physical distancing, and keep activities outdoors whenever possible.

As details are offered and plans develop, I will keep you informed and provide an update soon. As we navigate the uncertainty that the omicron variant brings, the health, safety, and wellbeing of our students, staff, and community remain our highest priority.

Sincerely,
Mike Johnson
Superintendent