Good afternoon Spring-Ford,
After a restful Winter Break, we're excited to welcome our students and staff back to school on Monday, January 3, 2022.
As you may already know, the CDC has recently shared updated guidance on isolating and quarantining. Following the CDC's guidance, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) updated their School Exclusion, Isolation, and Quarantine requirements, which are effective immediately. The significant changes are as follows:
- Isolation and Quarantine has changed to 5-days with an additional 5-days of mandated mask wearing in place of 10-days with an option to test out of quarantine to return on Day 8.
- The definition of "fully vaccinated" has changed. It now is as follows:
- Received a booster vaccine and more than 2 weeks have passed
- Completed a primary vaccine series (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J)
- Pfizer/Moderna – within the last 6 months
- J&J – within the last 2 months
- If individuals do NOT fall under the criteria for item I or II, they are considered unvaccinated and follow that protocol
- There is no longer a need to test out of quarantine given the adjustments. Asymptomatic and test-to-stay testing programs are still in use.
Additional changes include:
COVID-19 School Isolation and Quarantine: MCOPH has provided an updated COVID-19 School Exclusion Chart, which was last updated on December 31, 2021 and subject to change at any time. MCOPH made these updates to provide clear language on the new isolation and quarantine guidelines based on feedback MCOPH received. Please click here to link directly to the December 31, 2021 COVID-19 School Exclusion Chart.
CHOP PolicyLab Statement: Click here to read a statement from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the CHOP PolicyLab supporting the reopening of in-school instruction next week.
SFASD COVID Dashboard: Starting January 3, 2022, the Spring-Ford COVID Dashboard will be updated twice a week, rather than daily, each Monday and Thursday.
Reporting a Positive Case to SFASD: SFASD's Close Contact and Positive Case forms will reopen for reporting on January 1, 2022. Only active positive cases should be reported to the school district. Click here for more information from the Health Service Department.
Masking In School: Currently, masks are mandatory for staff and students when Spring-Ford's Level of Community Transmission is "High." Only medical exemptions with a medical signature will be honored. Spring-Ford's Level of Community Transmission can be found on the COVID Dashboard and will be included each week in Weekly Updates.
At Home (over the counter) Rapid antigen tests: Effective immediately, MCOPH encourages K-12 schools to accept positive and negative results from at-home antigen testing. MCOPH encourages schools to collect additional information from those reporting at-home test results: the type of test, brand name, date of the test, and the result. For more information from MCOPH visit At Home COVID-19( Antigen) Testing.
Test To Stay Program: At this time, changes and updates to the county-supported Test to Stay The county is reviewing the program. However, the testing cadence should reflect the new quarantine guidance, which would be tested within 24-hours of notification of the positive and on day 5.
As always, if a student does not feel well or has symptoms of COVID-19, has been exposed to a COVID positive individual, or has tested positive, they should remain home from school until cleared to return.
I do hope you found some time to relax during this break. While we are still working through some pandemic-related challenges, I am highly encouraged to see what 2022 will bring to our school community. Take care and, again, we are excited to see your children on Monday. Happy New Year!