According to DESE/QPS:
- Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate for 5 days regardless of vaccination status or symptoms. If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after 5 days, you may return to work/school but should continue to wear a mask for 5 additional days. If you still have a fever on day 5, you must continue to isolate until you are fever-free for 24 hours. *IF YOU FEEL SICK, DO NOT RETURN TO WORK.
- Vaccinated close contacts to positive COVID-19 cases should monitor themselves and family members for symptoms but may continue to attend work/school as long as they remain symptom-free.
- Unvaccinated, in-school close contacts to positive COVID-19 cases may continue to attend school by participating in the QPS Test & Stay program. Unvaccinated, outside-of-school close contacts to positive COVID-19 cases, or those who do not wish to participate in Test & Stay, must quarantine for 5 days and may return to work/school on day six (6) if they remain symptom-free.
- It is recommended that anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 seek testing on day five (5) following the exposure. There are two options: an antigen test that may be self-administered at home and/or a PCR test conducted by a healthcare professional.
- For additional information regarding the updated isolation and quarantine protocols, please click here.
- Staff (and students) can still opt to participate in the Routine Pooled Testing and Test & Stay programs if they have not already done so; please follow this link to sign up: https://www.cic-health.com/consent/ma?district=null.
- Though you should let the school nurse know if you or a family member have tested positive, please be respectful of their personal time. Try to only contact them during work hours, and do not expect them to immediately respond. Our nurses have been amazing during this whole pandemic, and we need to protect their health and well-being as well.
So this leads us to your professional responsibilities during this latest Covid surge. Consider the following:
- Monitor your own health. Again, if you feel sick, DO NOT COME TO WORK.
- Focus on the students in front of you. With so many students out sick, it can be tough to know where to direct your energy. You can only do so much, so remember that your first priority is to focus on the students in front of you.
- Life-streaming is part of the MOA. Please see the image below that details the exact language in the MOA.
- This should mean that if a school administrator tells a teacher on Monday at 10 a.m. that a kid is out for Covid, the teacher would send an email home to see if the student is able to/wants to live-stream; this needs to happen within 24 hours (so by Tuesday 10 a.m.). Following this, a student would be eligible to begin streaming on Wednesday morning. With the new protocols, that student should be returning to school the following Monday.
- It’s not ideal, and I would remind people that they need to prioritize the kids in front of them. Kids at home get “access” to the classroom only. To protect the privacy of the students in the room, cameras should be pointed away from other students. (I would suggest the board or a wall.) You may also suggest to parents that you could send home a packet instead of live-streaming if they would prefer that.