SCHOOL GUIDANCE & ISOLATION/QUARANTINE

By William

MCPHERSON – The McPherson County Health Department (MCHD) released a memo on Tuesday regarding updates on School Guidance as well as Isolation/Quarantine guidelines.

Remember that all COVID-19/Coronavirus data within McPherson County can be found on the home page of the MCHD at www.mcphersoncountyks.us under ‘McPherson County COVID-19 Dashboard’. The data will be updated on Tuesdays and Thursdays of each week with public media releases on Thursdays only or more frequently if needed.

As of Tuesday, March 30 – McPherson County is vaccinating anyone 16 years old and above for COVID-19/Coronavirus.

You may call the MCHD at 620-241-1753, your local healthcare provider, or pharmacy for an appointment.

You may also search for locations using www.vaccinefinder.org (Individuals 16 or 17 years of age may only receive the Pfizer vaccine at this time).

Your SCHOOL GUIDANCE and ISOLATION/QUARANTINE updates are as follows:

SCHOOL GUIDANCE:

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has adopted new CDC guidelines regarding masking and distancing in schools:

  • Universal and correct use of masks should still be in place.
  • In ELEMENTARY SCHOOLS – students should be at least three (3) feet apart.
  • In MIDDLE and HIGH SCHOOLS – students should be at least three (3) feet apart unless there is a high community transmission.
  • If an outbreak occurs in any school setting, students should be six (6) feet apart until the outbreak is contained.
  • HOWEVER – six (6) feet distancing must continue to be maintained in the following settings:
  • > > > Between adults (teachers and staff) and between adults and students. Studies have found that transmission between staff is more common than transmission between students in schools.
  • > > > When masks cannot be worn – such as when eating.
  • > > > During activities when increase exhalation occurs – such as singing, shouting, band, sports, and exercise. These activities should be moved outdoors or to a large, well-ventilated space when possible such as common areas like school lobbies and auditoriums.
  • Quarantine and isolation protocol has not changed – A close contact is defined as someone within six (6) feet for 10 minutes or longer of a positive, infectious case.

Isolation and Quarantine:

If you are exposed to someone with suspect or confirmed COVID-19/Coronavirus, you are not required to quarantine if you meet ALL OF THE FOLLOWING points:

  • If you have been fully vaccinated with the COVID-19/Coronavirus vaccine for at least two (2) weeks (two (2) weeks after the second dose of the two-dose series like Moderna or Pfizer, or two (2) weeks after the first dose of the single-dose vaccine like Johnson & Johnson).
  • If you are within six (6) months of receiving your last dose in the vaccine series.
  • If you are not having any symptoms since the identified COVID-19/Coronavirus exposure.

If you DO NOT MEET ALL of the above points, you should follow normal quarantine guidance, which includes a 10-day quarantine from date of exposure.

If you meet ALL OF THE ABOVE points but then become symptomatic, you should immediately isolate and see PCR or antigen COVID-19/Coronavirus testing.

Vaccinated inpatients and residents in healthcare settings/long term care facilities are exempt from this fully vaccinated exemption due to unknown vaccine effectiveness in this population, the higher risk of severe disease and death, and the challenges with distancing in these settings.

McPherson County Health Department (MCHD) recommends McPherson County practice Phase 3 Reopening Plans beginning February 10, 2021 and will be reviewed on April 6, 2021.

Reopening plan guidance is shifting to include case and recovery rates plus population vaccination status.

Phase 3 limits gatherings to 45 individuals when six-foot distancing is not maintained.

More information on Phase 3 plans can be found on the McPherson County website at www.mcphersoncountyks.us.

{McPherson News & Notes is SPONSORED by CrossDove Creations}