BCISD Covid Protocols update January 12, 2022
As many are aware, there are multiple school districts in our region that are closed due to high numbers of Covid positive cases. Additionally, when the district recently contacted the Nolan County Health Department they reported there was a minimum of 200 cases in Nolan County.
The district goal is to keep as many students in school and participating in activities while balancing freedom of choice with families in the district. We view reducing exposures as the best avenue for promoting the most participation.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC), Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and the Texas Education Agency (TEA) have all issued recent guidance in regards to Covid protocols.
Students Who Have Covid
Per the DSHS “school systems must exclude students from attending school in person who are actively sick with COVID-19, who are suspected of being actively sick with COVID-19, or who have received a positive test result for COVID-19…” We (Blackwell CISD) understand “suspected” is not always easy to determine, so please bear with us. We try to apply this as consistently as we can and the decision is most likely going to involve a discussion between the school nurse and parents to decide the most appropriate action.
Students who have Covid must meet the following requirements for reentry into school per DSHS.
“If symptomatic, exclude until at least 10 days have passed since symptom onset, and fever free*, and other symptoms have improved. Children who test positive for COVID-19 but do not have any symptoms must stay home until at least 10 days after the day they were tested.
*Fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications. Fever is a temperature of 100° Fahrenheit (37.8° Celsius) or higher.”
While the DSHS and CDC reports 100° Fahrenheit a Blackwell CISD student that recently went home with an elevated temp of 99.3 subsequently tested positive. Blackwell CISD will define fever as 100 per guidance and we offer that information in an effort to give parents more data to make decisions with.
Blackwell CISD will continue to honor notes from doctors and health facilities that allow students to return to school sooner than 10 days.
Students Who Are Close Contacts
Per TEA “school systems may choose to require household-based close contact students to stay at home during the below* stay-at-home period if they are in an area with high or rising COVID case rates. This applies specifically to students who are close contacts because an individual who lives in the same household is COVID-19 positive.”
*The CDC recommends a stay-at-home period of 10 days. The CDC notes that individuals who are fully vaccinated or were Covid positive in the last 90 days or have received a negative PCR acute infection test after the close contact occurred may not need to follow the stay-at-home period. Please note most tests done at clinics are Rapid tests which are different.
In an effort to balance the recommendations of governing bodies and parent choice, Blackwell CISD is recommending parents keep students at home for five calendar days while monitoring for symptoms if a member of the household tests positive for Covid. Parents may choose to keep their students at home for any close contact for up to 10 days while monitoring for symptoms.
Blackwell CISD appreciates the continued support offered by the majority of the community. The intent of the recommendation is to reduce exposure, maintain a higher overall level of participation and engagement with education at school, and allow families flexibility in making choices for their household.