- New Albany-Plain Local Schools
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Family & Staff Update COVID-19 Oct. 22, 2020
October 22, 2020
Dear New Albany Families, Staff, and Students,
The New Albany-Plain Local School District is committed to the safety and health of our students, families, and staff. In an effort to keep you completely informed, the district will now be updating our COVID-19 dashboard more frequently, beginning today. This will enable the entire community to have direct access to updated COVID-19 data for our schools as quickly as possible; including, the specific number of students and/or staff members who have tested positive or are required to be quarantined in accordance with Franklin County Public Health requirements.
Today’s dashboard includes:
As expected, with the increased number of persons testing positive in the State of Ohio and throughout the nation, contact tracing cases at school have increased since last weekend. Rumors have circulated in the community that there is an “outbreak” in the school district. This is not true. Unfortunately, some students, their family members, or members of our community have been diagnosed with or presumed positive with COVID-19. If anyone is determined to be a “close contact” to the person testing or presumed positive, then additional action to isolate or quarantine is required within 24 hours of such confirmation to fulfill Franklin County Public Health (FCPH) requirements.
Our District reports daily as required to FCPH. Since mid-September, 17 students and 1 staff member have been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is believed that only 2 of those students may have contracted COVID-19 at school. All other students and staff who have tested positive are believed to have contracted COVID-19 outside of school/work based upon the contact tracing protocols. Additionally, of the 296 students and 18 staff members required to quarantine to date, few students or staff members have become symptomatic or tested positive for COVID-19 during quarantine. While we clearly do not wish for any student, their family members, or staff members to become ill or be required to quarantine or self-isolate, we are fortunate that our current data illustrates a low incidence positivity rate today based upon communications with public health authorities.
Please know the school district has and will continue to consider the orders and guidance from state, and local health departments, the input of the New Albany COVID-19 community task force as well as information from national and international health experts, education experts, and input from faculty, staff, parents, students and community members. We will continue to provide regular communications. In an effort to keep you informed, we offer you answers to frequently asked questions received this week:
Who is considered a case? What are the isolation requirements?
Per FCPH, “a case is an individual who has tested positive with a viral (PCR) or antigen diagnostic test, whether or not they have any symptoms. Cases also include close contacts who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 but who may not have been tested. Symptoms may include any of the following: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, new smell disorder, new taste disorder, fever, chills, rigors, myalgia, headache, sore throat, nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue, or congestion/runny nose.”
“Isolation requirements include the following:
- Must be isolated for at least 10 days after symptoms first appeared AND
- At least 24 hours have passed since last fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) AND
- Symptoms have improved.”
“Severely immunocompromised or persons with severe illness may be infectious beyond the 10 days and should isolate for at least 20 days.”
“Cases who never developed symptoms may discontinue isolation 10 days after the date of clinical specimen.”
Who is considered a close contact to someone with COVID-19?
Per FCPH, “a close contact is anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes. An infected person can spread COVID-19 starting 48 hours (2 days) before the person had any symptoms or tested positive for COVID-19.”
What are the quarantine requirements?
Per FCPH, “a contact must be quarantined for 14 days after the last/most recent contact with the case when the case was infectious. Test results, whether negative viral test or positive antibody test, cannot shorten the 14 days. Contacts who share a room/living quarters should separate if possible, but otherwise the contact needs to quarantine throughout the case’s isolation plus an additional 14 days after the case is released from isolation if they can’t separate from the case.”
Who should be tested?
FCPH recommends, “all individuals with symptoms get tested but an asymptomatic individual might choose to be tested. If a close contact tests negative and that individual does not have symptoms, he or she should continue to stay home and self-quarantine away from others for 14 days after the last exposure to the COVID-19 case and follow all recommendations from the health department. This is important because symptoms can appear up to 14 days after exposure.”
When does the district contact you?
There are two types of contact the district will make with a family. The first type is for “Close Contact”. This means a student or staff member meets the FCPH definition of being a “close contact” to a person diagnosed with or demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19 and will result in the need to quarantine. The second type is a “General Classroom Notification” - a student or staff member may have been in proximity but not determined to be in close contact with a positive case based on the district's contact tracing. Both of these communications are part of the state order regarding COVID-19 notification in all schools.
How does my student participate in school during quarantine?
In an effort to deliver a consistent, high quality learning experience for New Albany students which emphasizes academic instruction and social-emotional interaction with classroom teachers and staff, when a student is absent for more than two (2) school days for COVID-19 related circumstances, but are either asymptomatic, possibly exposed and awaiting a diagnosis or test result (where testing is available), or the subject of a quarantine or isolation order, and the student and his/her teacher(s) are not sick, the teacher(s) remain(s) responsible to meet the academic and developmental needs of their student(s) who are absent for the duration of their COVID-19 related absence(s). This may include use of district-approved platforms such as Google and Schoology to permit the student(s) to stream into a teacher’s class or session, pre-recorded lessons, electronic resources, etc. coordinated by each student’s teacher. Each teacher will coordinate age-appropriate learning experiences with students. Alternate arrangements will be made should anyone become ill during a required quarantine period.
How can we help keep students, staff, and families safe?
- Mask up! Please wear a facial covering in public.
- Back up! Please maintain 3-6 feet of social distancing as much as possible.
- Wash up! Please wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water often for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, please use hand sanitizer.
- Please complete your daily symptoms checks before leaving for school/work. Please stay home from school/work if you have any symptoms.
Who do I call to report information related to COVID-19 in our household?
For students: Please call the COVID-19 reporting hotline at 614-413-7111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For staff: Please contact the Human Resources Department.
Thank you for your continued partnership in keeping our students, families, staff and community safe. We are stronger together!
John McClelland Michael Sawyers Jon Hood
Board President Superintendent Director of Student Services, Safety & Security