Healthy Aves 2020-2021 School Year
Close Contact Quarantine Guidelines
Sycamore Community Schools is updating its quarantine guidelines to reduce the amount of time students and staff are required to be away from school if exposed to COVID-19.
Beginning March 22, Sycamore Schools will adopt the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) options to reduce quarantine for close contacts. Staff and families will have the following two options if exposed to COVID-19:
10 Day Quarantine Without A COVID-19 Test
Close contacts should quarantine for 10 days after the last date of contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Individuals may return to school after 10 days if they are symptom-free. No COVID-19 test is required with this option.
7 Day Quarantine With A Negative COVID-19 Test
Close contacts should quarantine for 7 days after the last contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case. Individuals may return to school after 7 days if they are symptom-free and have received a negative COVID-19 test. A rapid or PCR test must be performed no earlier than Day 5-7 of quarantine. Testing results should be communicated to Sycamore Nurse Coordinator, Julie Ferron (email@example.com) before returning to school. For a list of testing sites, please click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.
In either the 10-day or 7-day options, it is still recommended that you continue to monitor for symptoms until 14 days after exposure. Families and staff may also choose to follow the CDC’s most recommended 14-day quarantine for close contacts if they feel that it is best. Confirmed COVID-19 cases will still need to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of testing.
The change to the district’s quarantine guidelines was made in careful consultation with Sycamore’s Data Assessment Risk Team (DART) who has thoroughly reviewed the CDC’s recommendations in conjunction with our school and community health data. Furthermore, we still have not seen definitive evidence of in-school transmission to date. Click here for more information from the CDC about the risk of spread with these alternative options.
“We continue to refine our Healthy Aves protocols to prevent transmission and protect our students and staff,” said Frank Forsthoefel, superintendent. “We know that extended and in some cases, repeated quarantines have caused burdens for our families. We want our kids in school as much as possible. By shortening our quarantine period, we hope to ease some of the hardships experienced and provide the continued education our students need while following CDC guidelines.”
Contact Tracing Guidelines
Sycamore Community Schools has recently received updated guidelines from the Ohio Department of Health (ODH) regarding close contact tracing as a result of evidence of low in-school transmission.
- If a student or staff member is exposed in a traditional classroom setting or on the bus, to someone with COVID-19, the individual does not need to quarantine as long as masking and other safety and health protocols were followed. Sycamore Community Schools will continue to adhere to our Healthy Aves social distancing protocols of 3-6 feet for students and 6 feet for adults.
- If a student or staff member is exposed in a traditional classroom and safety protocols have not been followed (e.g., students or adults in the classroom did not properly wear masks), the individual must quarantine for 14-days from the date of exposure.
- If a student or staff member is exposed to COVID-19 outside the traditional classroom setting, such as at lunch where students are unmasked and not six feet apart, sports practice, etc. the individual must quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure. The revised guidelines above only apply in traditional classroom settings.
- If a student or staff member is exposed to COVID-19 outside of school, the individual must quarantine for 14 days from the date of exposure.
- Current health department guidance indicates students who are exposed in a traditional classroom or on the bus do not need to quarantine and are allowed to continue to attend after school activities.
In all cases of potential exposure, Sycamore Community Schools will continue to consult with Hamilton County Public Health for guidance. The district will also continue to conduct contact tracing and notify anyone who is determined to be a close contact and whether they will need to quarantine or can continue to come to school and work. The district will continue to adhere to all health and safety protocols outlined in our Healthy Aves Plan, including following our social distancing guidelines of 3-6 feet.
We will continue to follow the same protocols for notification of confirmed cases and close contacts who must quarantine. The only change will be close contacts who do not need to quarantine will be notified via email only and not by phone. Those who must quarantine will receive an email and a phone call.
As part of Phase 1B of Ohio’s vaccination plan, teachers and other school employees will soon be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination if they choose to do so. Sycamore Community Schools has registered with HCPH to receive the vaccine for staff. The dates are still yet to be determined. Students are also encouraged to get vaccinated when it becomes available. We will share any vaccine information and administration details as soon as they become available.