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COVID-19 Updates: Masking and Quarantines - December 31, 2021

December 31, 2021

Hello,

We hope that you have had a relaxing, healthy holiday season and are excited to begin a new year. We cannot express clearly enough our collective frustration that we must continue to send you updates about our COVID procedures. Our kindergarten students were little more than toddlers when this pandemic began. However, cases continue to spike in our region and, accordingly, we want to ensure that we clearly communicate our protocols. Please read through the following and feel free to email me if you have questions.

Mask Mandate

Beginning Monday, all students and staff members must wear masks in all school and school-related activities and facilities. We recognize and respectfully acknowledge that some of our families will not appreciate this protocol. However, we are erring on the side of research and strong guidance from many leading public health entities, including, most recently, the Ohio Hospital Association and Ohio Children's Hospital Association (see their letter below).

Quarantine Guidelines

Please see the links that we received last night from the Ohio Department of Health. They are comprehensive and we will work to follow them with fidelity. Here are some key points, applicable to both students and staff:

  • Positive test: stay home for at least five days, may return after five days if symptoms have ended.
  • Close contacts to a case in school (regardless of vaccination status): remain in school unless symptomatic
  • Close contacts to a case outside of school (if fully vaccinated): continue to attend school, test on the fifth day after exposure
  • Close contacts to a case outside of school (if unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated): stay home for five days, test after fifth day, return if negative
  • Athletes: continue to follow the "Test to Play" protocol that we implemented earlier this season, testing immediately upon notification and then again on the fifth day after exposure.

*Fully vaccinated means that you have received both the first and second dose of the vaccine within the last six months or the booster.

Our contact information remains the same. Mrs. Cristina Mueller (muellerc@parmacityschools.org) and her team of PSI nurses have been unsung heroes throughout our pandemic and will continue to provide accurate and timely information. Further, please email test results or notification of positive results to covidresults@parmacityschools.org

Finally, please trust that none of us want to return to remote instruction. Closely following these protocols will help us to avoid this draconian step. If we experience staffing shortages that prevent us from ensuring student safety, we will work to limit unit/grade/team/school closures to only the most affected areas. We would communicate such targeted closures in as rapid a fashion as possible.

Thank you for your patience and support. While we can all share dismay at our need to continue to implement COVID protocols, we can also celebrate the fact that this latest version of updates allow us to better keep more students where they belong: in school. 

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/responsible/schools/k-12-schools-quarantine-alternative.pdf

https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/static/docs/covid-19-guidance-quarantine.pdf

https://education.ohio.gov/getattachment/Topics/Back-to-School/OHA-OCHA-Letter.pdf.aspx?lang=en-US

Charlie