We have all learned to be flexible during the pandemic, including when it comes to responding to a positive COVID test. It’s time to provide another update on how our schools are now required to address COVID cases among our students and staff.
The new COVID variant Omicron is on the rise across Oregon, including Oakridge, and it is very transmissible. We now have students who are in quarantine after a positive COVID test and others who are isolating as close contacts to COVID cases. Current guidelines for quarantine indicate those who are vaccinated or have had COVID in the past 90 days do not need to quarantine unless they test positive. We are following these guidelines with our students and staff.
The updated guidance on quarantine times is shorter than before and depends on the circumstances of exposure and contact. Our school nurse works with us to determine proper quarantine timelines through contact tracing.
Omicron has different symptoms than previous variants. In fact, many times people are Asymptomatic, showing no indication they are infected. There are some serious symptoms being identified with Omicron, but many of the signs are similar to the common cold:
I understand the frustration with changing guidelines and responses to COVID. Today we were informed that updated Ready Schools Safe Learners Guidance is coming the week of January24, 2022. I expect it to mirror the recommendations that have been coming from the CDC in regard to quarantine times. We will make updates to our quarantine protocols as the RSSL plan recommends and will share those changes in the coming week.
We are all constantly learning and adjusting through this pandemic. My thanks goes out to each of you for your diligence in protecting your children’s health and keeping them home when they are ill. Your carefulness is making a difference and helping to keep our schools open.