Updated COVID-19 Masking for buses
Recently the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their masking guidelines for COVID-19. In the CDC’s recent update, they have removed the requirement of wearing masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs.
Independent School District 549 has adopted the new guidelines set forth from the CDC. ISD 549 recommends masks to be worn on buses or vans operated by the school district, but it does not require them as of March 1.
Updated Quarantine/Contact Tracing for ISD 549
We hope this message finds you and your family healthy. With the recent surge of COVID-19 in Otter Tail County and surrounding areas, it has become necessary to inform you that contact tracing communication and the quarantine policy for ISD 549 has changed. At this point, you can assume that your student(s) have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
The district will continue to contact trace as well as it can. However, the district asks that you are patient during this time. The district will communicate with families via email in the event of a close contact.
To help with the process, the district is requesting families to self monitor for symptoms and to test if they have one of the following symptoms of COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
Starting Monday, January 24th the district will transition to the CDC’s most recently recommended 5-day shortened quarantine. This will include those who test positive for COVID-19 regardless of vaccination status and those who are unvaccinated close household contacts. Strict mask wearing (with masks provided from home) is required for days 6-10.
Your child needs to be fever free for 24 hours (without fever reducing medication) and symptoms need to be improved for your child to return to school.
Click on link to Ottertail County guidelines https://ottertailcountymn.us/content-page/covid19-calculator/
The change is motivated by science demonstrating that the majority of SARS-CoV-2 transmission occurs early in the course of illness, generally in the 1-2 days prior to onset of symptoms and the 2-3 days after.
Testing is one important strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19. Vaccines continue to be the most important tool we have against the virus. Our youngest students can’t get vaccinated yet, so it is up to all of us to help protect them. Minnesotans ages 5 and older can find information on where to get a vaccine by visiting the state’s Vaccine Connector (vaccineconnector.mn.gov) or the federal Vaccine Finder (vaccines.gov).
Residents can also sign up to receive four take home tests per address at www.covidtests.gov. Perham-Dent Public Schools offer take-home Zoom enabled saliva tests for students and staff. These tests are recommended and are not required.
COVID-19 Mitigation Matrix
Perham-Dent Public School District 549 has announced a new mitigation strategy to help in the fight against COVID-19.
The strategy was recommended by the Incident Command Team (ICT) and approved by the ISD 549 School Board on Sept. 28. The ICT was established by the ISD 549 School Board in the Spring 2020 to oversee and help make decisions involving the district’s COVID-19 policy, and consists of a variety of community members, school board members, school personnel, Otter Tail County Public Health and Perham Health.
The strategy puts in place a plan for when students and staff will be required to wear face coverings based on the number of active cases in each district’s school building.
The approved plan can be viewed by clicking here.
The COVID-19 Mitigation Matrix works alongside the COVID-19 Dashboard which will now be updated daily. Along with the COVID-19 Dashboard, the Mitigation Matrix will be posted on the bottom of the Dashboard page.
At this time, ISD 549’s COVID-19 Dashboard will not be updated daily. The current number of COVID-19 cases in the district remains at zero. The dashboard will return when a school building leaves the green/low transmission status. If you have any questions or concerns, please email email@example.com.
Past COVID-19 Dashboards
At-home COVID-19 Testing
As part of Independent School District’s 549 COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy, the district announces it will offer take-home Zoom enabled tests for students and staff. These tests are recommended and are not required.
Students and staff can pick up the tests and instructions upon request from the nurse’s office and take the zoom enabled tests at home. Tests will be mailed in on Wednesdays, starting on September 15, 2021. Tests need to be returned to the health offices by 1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
Based on current levels of community spread across Minnesota, the CDC and the MDH recommend that all unvaccinated school-age children and school staff should get tested for COVID-19 at least weekly throughout the school year. Unvaccinated children involved in any extracurricular activities or sports should be tested more frequently. Vaccinated students should get tested if they are experiencing symptoms or were exposed to someone who has COVID-19.
Testing is one important strategy to slow the spread of COVID-19. Vaccines continue to be the most important tool we have against the virus. Our youngest students can’t get vaccinated yet, so it is up to all of us to help protect them. Minnesotans ages 12 and older can find information on where to get a vaccine by visiting the state’s Vaccine Connector (vaccineconnector.mn.gov) or the federal Vaccine Finder (vaccines.gov).
If you have any questions, contact the ISD 549 Health Offices.
Instructions for the At-home tests can be found by clicking here.
ISD549 Opening plan
Independent School District 549 hopes that everyone is doing well and had a great summer. With the first day of school coming upon us, you probably have heard about the new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) involving pandemic related recommendations for the 2021-22 school year.
It is important to recognize that these are just recommendations and not requirements. The MDE has left the decision of following the recommendations up to each individual school district.
The purpose of this communication is to inform you of how the Perham-Dent Public School District plans to approach the upcoming school year in terms of face coverings and vaccinations with the information that we have at this current time.
Please see below for information regarding face coverings and vaccinations for the 2021-22 school year.
- Face coverings will not be required in 2021-22 unless families choose otherwise. Families should be able to make face covering decisions with and for their families.
- Those who choose to wear face coverings will not be treated differently than those students who choose not to wear them. The same is true for those who choose not to wear them. Students will not be segregated in any way for their choice of wearing a face covering or their choice to vaccinate. All will be welcomed!
- Face coverings will be required on buses per President Joe Biden’s Executive Order, which regulates all forms of public transportation; it is not an option for any school district to disregard the requirement. Failure to follow the mandate could result in loss of licensure and/or funding.
The above information is the current plan based on information the district has at this current time and is subject to change.
The current reopening plan can be found by clicking here.