COVID-19 Updates

Latest Information:

 

  • Fully vaccinated students and adults are except from close contact quarantine requirements.
  • Fully vaccinated or previously positive athletes are except from weekly testing. Individuals who have recovered from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis with either a PCR test or antigen (rapid) test in the past three months (90 days) and remain symptom-free may participate in spring sports activities without weekly testing. An antibody test is not sufficient.
  • Documentation of vaccination and previously positive test result with dates verified by lab or medical provider is required.  
  • Full guidance from the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA)

New Schools Recommendations for Reducing COVID19 Illness from Tuscola County Health Department- Effective 05.11.2021

  • In the academic classrooms K-12, individuals within three (3) feet from a case, for greater than 15 minutes (cumulative or sequential), can be considered a high-risk exposure and result in quarantine. This only applies if strict mask adherence is being followed.                                                                       
  •  A six-foot distance will still be used to assess exposure in all situations outside of the K-12 classrooms (hallways, cafeterias, playgrounds, busses, etc.) or in classroom situations where risk is deemed elevated.  
  • Children in quarantine due to close contact can have a PCR test on day 7 (not a rapid or antibody test), if they are negative they could return to school before day 10. They must still monitor for symptoms through day 14.
  • These are subject to change if the situation warrants (for ex., sudden surge in cases, etc.). 
  • Outside recess in groups smaller than 100 no masks necessary

People are getting confused by these two terms. I explained it in the questions, but it is important to understand the difference. A person who tests positive is in isolation. Their body has the COVID virus and any exposure to them is a very high risk of transmission. Quarantine is used for someone who was around a positive person as a close contact. This person was healthy at the time of exposure but could have become infected with the virus. They potentially could be a ticking time bomb. The virus can be multiplying in this person until the amount of virus cause symptoms, and they get sick. At this point they now enter isolation. With quarantine there is no way of knowing if you will get sick or not, but according to latest scientific evidence you can spread COVID to others during the 48 hours before your symptoms explode or show up and any time after. 

We are glad to be back in person. With everyone working together, hopefully we can finish 2020/2021 school year strong and in person. Please continue to notify the school if your child tests positive for COVID-19 or is quarantined due to being a close contact. Currently, we have no positive cases in either building as of 5/26/2021.  The district thanks you for your cooperation during this time. 

 

If  your child is a close contact (within six feet for a least 15 minutes), you will be notified by the school and the health department.  

It will be important to monitor your child for symptoms. 

Some common symptoms include:

  • loss of taste and smell
  • fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea and abdominal pain.
  • Congestion

 If your child does develop symptoms, you should contact your health professional. If anyone in your household has these symptoms, please keep your child home until the household member is confirmed negative for COVIDPlease contact the school if you have any questions and if your child becomes ill.  We appreciate your cooperation.

Questions:

 

What are isolation and quarantine? Isolation is for the person who tested positive and is infected with the COVID-19. Quarantine is for the person who was in close contact with the person who is COVID positive. The incubation period (time that it takes for the virus to multiple enough to make you sick) is anywhere from 2 to 10 days. 

How is the isolation and quarantine time figured? According to the State of Michigan COVID-19 policies, isolation is 10 days. Quarantine is 10 days, but still monitor for symptoms through day 14.. Isolation generally starts when symptoms start. Quarantine times start from the last known exposure to a COVID positive person. Some of the ways the school figures out close contacts are reviewing the seating charts, the student movement in school, and reporting from the positive person. This is where communication and cooperation from our community are important. If we miss someone or something, please let us know. We would rather be proactive and safe, so we don't have an outbreak occur.

Can my child test out and get back to school or sports sooner? There is NO TESTING out of isolation. You may test out of quarantine with a negative PCR test that was completed on day 7 or later. A test that was completed before day 7 does not meet the requirements to test out. 

What does it mean when someone is presumed positive? A presumed positive case could be someone who tested positive with a rapid test or is a close contact of someone who is COVID positive. The health department treats presumed positive cases as positive cases. A PCR test will confirm if the person is positive or not. Following state guidelines, a presumed positive student will have their close contacts identified. Those students will be quarantined.  In doing this the state and the school district are working to prevent the spread of COVID in our community for the safety of our students and our extended community.

What if I do not understand why my child is quarantined? There are several factors that come into play when determining quarantine. For instance, if we have more than one positive case at the same time, your child may have multiple associations with exposure. The school values student’s confidential information and follows HIPPA guidelines. For this reason, we cannot share the names and details of the exposure. We evaluate each exposure with your child’s health and safety in mind as we follow guidelines from Tuscola County Health Department.

Why does my child have to be tested to play spring sports when the previous sports seasons did not have this requirement? In the fall, the ability to test was not readily available, and tests were limited. We can screen and test easier now. Sporting events bring other communities together in groups where transmission is more likely, and increase spread is shown to occur. Testing is used to catch COVID in the early stages to prevent spread to more people. If an athlete tests positive before an event but has no symptoms yet, they do not participate in that event. Screening athletes can decrease some of the risks and allow for the continuation of sporting events. Cooperation of parents, coaches, students, and the distinct are all required during this time. The goal is for our student-athletes to play within their team and against other teams in different communities and not spread the virus. 

Isn't spring sports safer since they are played outside? Being outside does allow more air movement. This could help prevent spread, but the same guidelines apply outside as indoors. Close contacts are still anyone within 6 feet of positive person for greater than 15 minutes cumulatively. Spring sports like track, baseball, and softball are less risky than more contact sports, so technically, there could be fewer close contacts. Weekly testing can also prevent exposure to positive cases, so hopefully, the spring sports season will be a good one.  

Any other questions, please contact the school. Thank you for your cooperation. 

 

The chart below shows the signs and symptoms of a common cold, flu (influenza), and COVID-19. The symptoms of a common cold occur with the flu or COVID-19. We are all unique. Contrary to popular opinion, there are many people who have COVID-19 that do NOT have a fever. This list is of the possible signs and symptoms of these illnesses. That means that you could have as few as one or two symptoms or all of them, it just depends on your body's response to the illness.

We appreciate your communication with the school and keeping your child home when they are sick. During these challenging times, we are glad that we have been able to interact and teach your child in-person or in a virtual environment. Together we are Red Hawk Strong for our future leaders. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school.