On July 19, 2021, the Carbondale Area Board of School Directors approved the ARP ESSER Health and Safety Plan 2021-2022.
Carbondale Area School District is committed to informing our families timely and with meaningful information related to COVID-19.
Case Report: Families, staff, and/or the Department of Health (DOH) should notify the District of any confirmed/presumed positive COVID-19 test results of any individual who was present in our schools/facilities. When a positive case is reported from anyone other than the DOH, the District will contact the DOH to confirm/share that information.
Contact Tracing: Our school nurses serve in the capacity of contract tracers. The District will assist the DOH in contacting those identified who have been in close contact to provide advice and guidance on how to quarantine and monitor symptoms.
- Our staff will provide a list of individuals who were considered to be in close contact and may have been exposed to the confirmed/presumed positive case.
- Per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), close contact is determined by time (at least 15 minutes) and distance (within three-six feet) with OR without wearing a face mask. There are additional factors that are also considered such as if the infected person is exhibiting symptoms and the presence of environmental conditions (e.g., crowding, ventilation, or being indoors).
Notifications: The District will notify families and staff of those attending the impacted building or activity.
- A phone call will be made from school staff to families of those determined to be close contacts. Families and staff may also be notified by the DOH.
- The school will notify all parents and staff of a confirmed/presumed positive case by email, text, and post to the school’s website under “CASD COVID-19 REPORT”. School-wide communication of positive cases have been limited to those that have had a direct impact on building staff and students.
- Correspondence to families and staff will include additional health/safety information that is relevant to the situation and/or recommended by the DOH.
Strict confidentiality will be maintained for individuals who have tested positive. The District WILL NOT release the name or any identifying information associated with the confirmed positive COVID-19 case in compliance with state and federal laws related to privacy of healthcare information and privacy of student and employee records/information.
Q: What does quarantine mean?
Quarantine means separating people who were exposed to a sick person away from others. Because someone can spread COVID-19 before they have symptoms, quarantine stops them from accidentally spreading the virus to other healthy people; however, it is important to note that not all who are quarantined have or will have COVID-19.
Q: What does a quarantine involve?
Per the CDC, “Quarantine is used to keep someone who might have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine helps prevent spread of disease that can occur before a person knows they are sick or if they are infected with the virus without feeling symptoms. People in quarantine should stay home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow directions from their state or local health department.”
Below is the most up-to-date information on Quarantine Guidelines for fully vaccinated and not fully vaccinated individuals. Please note that the most protective recommended quarantine period remains at 14-days after the date of last exposure (Day 0) to a person who is infectious with SARS-CoV-2. However, the CDC has provided options for reduced quarantine which balances the reduced burden to the individual under quarantine against a small possibility of increasing the spread of the virus.
Q: Who needs to quarantine?
An individual who is not fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and is identified as a close contact of a case must quarantine.
Persons who meet the following criteria do NOT need to quarantine:
Someone who has been fully vaccinated and shows no symptoms of COVID-19. However, fully vaccinated people should get tested there to five days after their last exposure, even if they don’t have symptoms, and wear a mask indoors in public for 14 days following exposure or until their test result is negative.
Someone who has COVID-19 illness within the previous three months, and
Has recovered, and
Remains without COVID-19 symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath).
Q: How long does a close contact need to quarantine?
The most protective recommended quarantine period is 14 days following exposure. However, quarantine can end after day 10 without testing if the individual has not had any symptoms during the quarantine period. Quarantine may end after day seven if diagnostic test completed on or after day five is negative and the individual has not had symptoms during the quarantine period. The most recent exposure date should be counted as zero.
Individuals who are household contacts of the case will need to extend their quarantine up to 14 days following the case’s release from isolation if the case is unable to separate completely from other household members during the isolation period.
Q: How will my student complete school work if they are quarantined?
Students who are quarantined as a result of COVID-19 and feel well enough to complete school work, should contact their teacher for assignments.
Q: What activities should my student avoid during quarantine?
Your student should remain home during quarantine. Your student will not be permitted to attend in-person school/CTC, athletic competitions/practices, or extra-curricular activities. In addition, your child should not engage in activities with friends and family, attend youth sporting activities, community events, social activities, or report to work. Online or engagement through phone calls, emails, and online meetings is encouraged.
Q: Does a quarantine mean my child needs tested for COVID-19?
Per the DOH, “regardless of age, if a patient is identified as being a close contact of a COVID-19 case, it is strongly recommended that they be tested for SARS-CoV-2 at least 2-3 days after the exposure, regardless of the presence of symptoms.”
Q: Is there a tool to assist parents in determining quarantine and isolation timeframes?
Yes. Parents can visit the PA DOH online.
Q: Can we shorten my child’s quarantine from 14 days to 10 days if they are not showing and have not shown any symptoms?
The CDC and DOH now provide guidance on shortening quarantine periods to 7-10 days. It is important to note that although periods of quarantine may be reduced, the CDC and PA DOH recommend individuals who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual monitor their symptoms for the full 14 days after their last exposure. See “What does quarantine involve?” listed above.
Q: What should I do if my student develops symptoms?
Monitor your child for COVID symptoms throughout their quarantine period. If your student begins to develop symptoms, contact their health care provider for guidance. At this point the DOH would consider your child a probable case of COVID-19. Please contact your child’s school nurse if your child develops symptoms. The nurse will provide directions on important next steps. The CDC provides a COVID-19 Diagnosis Tool.
Q: What if a student becomes sick at school?
If a student exhibits COVID-like symptoms, the student is sent to the nurse’s office. The nurse performs an assessment.
Q: Does the rest of my family have to quarantine because my child has to quarantine?
No, unless additional family members have been identified as a close contact, they are not required to quarantine. Please continue to use the COVID-19 screening tool to assess other family members for signs of illness.
Q: Is the school district conducting COVID-19 testing in the schools for students who have been exposed?
A COVID testing program is being offered through Ginkgo that is supported by DOH. The school district has signed up for the program and is waiting for implementation permission. Families will be informed when the program is available.
Q: Are volunteers permitted in the buildings this school year?
Yes. Volunteers are permitted in our buildings who support educational programs and initiatives (yoga, social-emotional learning, PTA events, etc.).