Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, notified school districts and local health departments (LDH) of changes to requirements involving universal contact tracing, case investigation and exposure notification. According to ODH, as COVID-19 has evolved, public health mitigation strategies have had to adjust periodically to address new challenges. The level of community transmission within society has made universal contact tracing, case investigation, and exposure notification impractical when combined with newly reduced timelines for quarantine and isolation. One can assume there is potential for being exposed to COVID-19 and other viruses in routine interaction with others.
Therefore, Bloom-Carroll has updated our COVID guidelines in accordance with the ODH recommendations which are outlined below:
- The ODH is recommending schools and LHDs transition to notifying families of exposures in the case of outbreaks or clusters of positive cases in a single location. Building wide notifications for every case will no longer continue unless the local health department determines there is an outbreak or cluster as with other virus outbreaks.
- Schools may discontinue universal contact tracing but are expected to assist LHDs with contact tracing, case investigation and exposure notification related to outbreaks or clusters in schools as determined by the LHD. Schools should continue to follow recommended isolation and quarantine protocols and allow asymptomatic students to attend school under our existing guidelines listed below if they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19. ODH now states, “The best place for kids is in school, in-person, full-time.”
- ODH also will change the school case reporting cadence to weekly. Schools should report positive student and staff cases to their LHDs by close of business on Fridays. LHDs will continue to report on the same weekly cadence to ODH. This schedule will begin on Friday, Feb. 4. ODH will continue to evaluate related school reporting requirements.
- The BCLSD will continue to update our COVID-19 Dashboard and anyone may access any Ohio K-12 school case data by visiting https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/dashboards/schools-and-children/schools
Bloom-Carroll’s isolation and quarantine guidelines remain unchanged from the January 2, 2022 update.
Guidelines for a Positive COVID Test:
- Any student/staff member who tests positive for COVID-19, regardless of symptoms or vaccination status, will be excluded from school for 5 days from the onset of symptoms or from the date of the positive test in asymptomatic cases.
- Please note: The tests referenced above are SARS-CoV-2 viral (PCR or Antigen) tests. All tests, including over-the-counter at home test kits, must be medically proctored/observed and lab confirmed by a licensed medical professional.
- After the 5-day exclusion period, any student/staff member must meet the following conditions to return to school:
- Must be fever free for 24 hours prior to return.
- All other symptoms must be absent or improving.
- Should wear a facial covering for 5 additional days as much as possible upon return.
Guidelines for Exposure to a COVID Positive Person:
- Any student/staff member exposed to a COVID positive person, regardless of vaccination or masking status, may attend school daily if they do the following:
- The student/staff member should wear a facial covering indoors, as much as possible, for 10 days after their last date of exposure; AND
- The student/staff member shall continue to conduct daily symptom checks for 10 days following the exposure. Any student/staff member who becomes symptomatic will continue to be subject to exclusion from school unless an alternate diagnosis is provided by a medical professional; AND
- The student/staff member shall immediately isolate and contact a medical professional if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.
Extra-curricular & Co-curricular Activities:
- Students participating in school activities who are close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 may continue participation in activities under the following guidelines:
- The close contact should be symptom-free; AND
- The close contact should wear a mask for 10 days, when possible (locker room, bus, on the bench, when not performing).
We want to strongly emphasize to everyone that symptom checks should be occurring on a daily basis. If you or a member of your family have any signs or symptoms of COVID, please do not come to school.
Please contact a school nurse with any questions.