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Closely Monitoring School COVID-19 Cases

Closely Monitoring School COVID-19 Cases

South Washington County Schools (SoWashCo Schools) is closely monitoring COVID-19 case rates now that students have returned from winter break. Face coverings remain in place for elementary and middle schools and are strongly recommended for high schools.

The first two days after winter break (Jan. 4-5) have shown a steady number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in our schools. These numbers are consistent with what we saw before the break. As a reminder, SoWashCo Schools is following its criteria for decision-making that defines when increased health strategies will be put in place. Other considerations include:

  • Washington County vaccination rates 
  • Student vaccination rates 
  • Washington County transmission rates
  • Positive cases reported in our schools
  • Student absences due to illness
  • Discussions with Washington County public health officials to determine what they're seeing in the community

Per the criteria for decision-making, face coverings would be required for high schools for at least 20 days if:

  • 2% percent of the total student population of a school tests positive for COVID-19 within a 7-day period.

-or-

  • 5% percent of the total student population of a school is absent with COVID or flu-like symptoms on any one day.

Shifting to distance learning may occur for individual schools based on a significant staff shortage or if 10% of the student population tests positive for COVID-19. We continue to ask families to be prepared for distance learning due to the uncertainty of staffing and community transmission. As of today, no schools are at risk of shifting to distance learning. 

Keeping our school communities healthy and our students in school is a shared responsibility. Students should stay home and get tested if they have a fever, new cough or a cough that gets worse, difficulty breathing, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, nasal congestion, runny nose, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, feeling very tired, severe headache or chills. Parents will be asked to pick up their child from school if they are showing two or more symptoms listed above. 

Our main priority remains the health and safety of students and staff with the ultimate goal of consistent in-person learning. 

Thank you for supporting South Washington County Schools.