Earlier this month, the Nemaha and Marshall County Health Departments announced new protocols regarding quarantining students in the classroom setting. These new guidelines have been adopted in the K-12 setting at both schools so that students who are correctly wearing masks are no longer required to quarantine in certain environments.
To date there have been no known positive cases of students which were quarantined due to a classroom contact. USD 380 currently does not require masks for our ECH students. In the ECH program, there have been 14 quarantine situations and two known positive cases reported.
Beginning Tuesday December 1, 2020, we will be adopting a mask policy for ECH students in an effort to take advantage of the new guidelines set forth. ECH students will wear masks full time during the school day. We hope this will not only keep our early childhood students in the building for in-person instruction, but also better prevent the spread of infection amongst students and staff. Below you will find a condensed list of high risk and low risk exposures. The situations on the high risk list still require an individual to quarantine for 14 days. As defined below, a classroom setting while wearing a mask properly will not require a student to quarantine.
High Risk Exposures
- Contact with anyone unmasked, when less than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes
- Eating breakfast/lunch/snack less than six feet apart, unless otherwise approved (by Marshall County Health Department or KDHE) physical barriers are in place (i.e. Plexiglas)
- Physical exertion, indoors or outdoors, when less than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes
- High-risk sports, as defined by the National Federation of State High School
- Playing woodwind and brass instruments without other precautions (mask, distance)
- Singing/shouting without other precautions, when less than 6 feet for longer than 10 minutes
Associations, including “sports that involve close, sustained contact between participants,
lack of significant protective barriers, and high probability that respiratory particles will be transmitted between participants.”
Low Risk Exposures
- Being in the same classroom with proper mask wearing
- On the same bus with appropriate mask wearing
- Playground, even if unmasked, (social distancing and cohorts maintained); this moves into a high-risk exposure if kids have sustained contact with physical exertion for more than 10 minutes
Not considered Exposed or close contact
- Walking in the same hallway masked
- Attending a class during the period after a positive individual was present in the classroom
Wearing of Masks Exclusion Protocol
Mask wearing has been shown to be an effective way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Individuals who are wearing masks and are in close contact (6 feet for 10 minutes or more) with an infectious individual wearing a mask are considered low risk for contracting COVID-19. Because schools have policies and monitoring capabilities for mask wearing, Marshall County Health Department does not recommend excluding students and staff who are close contacts of a COVID-19 positive individual, as long as masks were being worn correctly (covering nose and mouth) and in what is otherwise considered to be a low risk exposure. In those situations, quarantine of close contacts would not be required. Individuals who were unmasked within 6 feet for 10 consecutive minutes or more or participated in a high-risk activity with a COVID-19 positive individual during their infectious period, or who were directly exposed to respiratory droplets/excretions for any amount of time, will be excluded for 14 days from their last interaction with the individual.
Please contact me at the district office should you have any questions or concerns regarding this updated policy.
Superintendent of Schools