Learning Plan Update: Quarantine Opt-Out Ending Effective 8/28/21
Once again we have begun a school year amidst the background of a pandemic, and we appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the near constant changes to guidance concerning health/safety practices. We are writing today to make everyone aware of a change to our quarantine process.
We have received updated/clarified guidance from the Oklahoma State and Canadian County Departments of Health (OSDH & CCHD) that there is no longer an opt-out option in relation to quarantine when an individual has been identified as a close contact to a positive COVID-19 case. As such:
Effective Saturday, August 28, 2021, there will be no Quarantine Opt-out allowed for those identified as a close contact to someone with a positive case of COVID-19.
Appropriate masks/face-coverings worn properly during contact will be required to be exempt from quarantine.
Those fully vaccinated or with proof of a previous COVID-19 infection within the past 90 days will also be exempt from quarantines (documentation will be required).
This guidance puts us exactly in line with the contact tracing/quarantine procedures from last year. In fact, the Oklahoma State Department of Education & Oklahoma State Department of Health have provided this information:
Do students really need to stay home when they are sick with COVID-19?
Yes. Keeping students at home when they are infected with COVID-19 (isolation) or have been exposed as a close contact (quarantine) is critical to controlling the transmission of COVID-19, especially since infected individuals are known to transmit the virus to others before they experience symptoms or when they are only experiencing mild symptoms.
When they are exposed to COVID-19?
Schools and parents have a duty under state law (63 O.S. § 1-505) to keep students home when they are in isolation or quarantine. These students should remain away from school facilities and activities until their period of isolation or quarantine has ended. Isolation and quarantine are determined by the Oklahoma State Department of Health or – within Oklahoma County or Tulsa County – by their respective county health departments.
Science tells us that wearing a mask is one of the most important mitigation measures we can take to help stop the spread of COVID and protect our students and one another. In line with state law, Mustang Public Schools strongly encourages students and staff to wear masks, in fact, that is our expectation. As in-person instruction is our goal, it is important that we do everything we can to remain in school five days a week, and wearing masks will help to ensure we can achieve our goal. Again, as stated above, if a mask/face covering is worn during contact with a positive individual, the close contact would be eligible for an exemption to quarantine.
Each school site continues to evaluate and make changes to its safety protocols and procedures to the degree possible in an effort to mitigate the virus.
An individual is identified as a close contact to a person infected with COVID-19 if they have been within 3 feet (classroom setting) or 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes in one day).
An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date), until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation.
Thank you for your continued patience and understanding as we work to protect your child(ren). In partnering together, we are stronger and will continue to have a great school year. We appreciate your continued support.
Charles Bradley, Superintendent
Mustang Public Schools