2021-22 School Year COVID-19 Response Plan
As we approach the coming school year, we recognize that we are still operating in a pandemic. We are fortunate this year in that we have many more tools and resources available as we work to create a safe learning environment for students. This document was developed jointly between the Bear River Health Department and four Northern Utah school districts (Box Elder, Cache County, Logan City, and Rich) and follows the Utah Department of Health layered prevention approach.
Face Coverings (Masks)
Masks and other face coverings remain an important tool for reducing the spread of COVID-19. While masks are not required in our school buildings or on school grounds, mask use is encouraged as a prevention approach. For example, individuals may choose to wear a mask to keep themselves and others safe, if they have underlying health conditions, if transmission rates are high, or if they have been exposed to COVID-19. Any individual who chooses to wear a mask should feel comfortable and welcome to do so in our schools.
The Bear River Health Department will provide free diagnostic testing for anyone that experiences symptoms or believes they have been exposed. Information on testing locations and times will be provided on the Bear River Health Department website. The health department will also assist with “Test to Stay” protocols should we experience significant outbreaks.
A major tool currently available to anyone 12 and older is vaccination. Most of our adult population over 65 have been vaccinated, as well as a majority of adults 18 or older and a significant percentage of our student population 12 and older. The decision to receive a vaccine is a personal decision and parental consent is required for anyone under 18. Vaccinations are free through the Bear River Health Department or can be scheduled through local pharmacies or health care providers.
It is critical to continue to be diligent with district illness protocols. Employees or students who experience symptoms or are ill should remain home until symptoms subside. If symptoms are COVID-19 related, individuals should take advantage of testing.
As simple as it may seem, handwashing and hand-sanitizing are both important ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Hand sanitizer and soap dispensers are readily available in schools for students and staff. Handwashing, hand sanitizing, and other good hygiene practices will be encouraged by teachers and school staff.
Enhanced cleaning of schools will continue during the 2021-22 School Year. Enhanced cleaning is defined as more frequent cleaning of high-touch surfaces, strategic cleaning of high-use areas, and focused cleaning if a classroom or school has a high case count.
Positive COVID-19 cases will continue to occur in schools. In cooperation with the Bear River Health Department, we will address positive COVID-19 cases in the following ways:
Individuals Who Test Positive
The health department will notify school nurses of any positive cases of COVID-19 among students or staff populations. Individuals testing positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves for 10 days from the onset of symptoms or from the point they receive a positive test result. They may return to school after those 10 days, and if it has been 24 hours since symptoms subsided.
Individuals Who Are Exposed
Staff or students who shared a classroom or participated in an extra-curricular activity with a positive individual for 15 minutes or longer are considered exposed and will be contacted by the school. The following recommendations will be provided:
There are no recommended restrictions for students or staff who:
● Regularly wear a mask; or
● Have had COVID-19 in the last 90 days; or
● Have been fully vaccinated.
If a student or staff member does not meet any of the above criteria, the following is recommended:
● Quarantine at home for 10 days; or
● Wear a mask at all times while at school during the 10-day period following exposure; or
● Wear a mask at all times while at school during a 7-day period and remove the mask if
you test negative on day 7.
Anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19 should monitor for symptoms and seek testing at the onset of any symptoms.
Test to Stay
If a school meets a threshold of either 2% or 30 positive cases, a “Test to Stay” protocol will be implemented in cooperation with the Bear River Health Department.
A “Test to Stay” protocol means that individuals would need a negative COVID test result to remain in school during an outbreak period. If an individual chooses not to be tested, they would not have a negative test and according to state statute cannot attend school during an outbreak period.
As of Aug 2, 2021