Health & Safety Questions: Mitigation Strategies, Masks, Quarantine, COVID-19 test results . . .

What COVD-19 mitigation strategies are in place?

  • Mask wearing is mandatory at all times in school and on the bus.
  • Students and staff will practice good hand hygiene.
  • Desks are separated, as much as possible, with a minimum distance of 3-feet apart, measured from the middle of one chair to the middle of the next.
  • Teachers will maintain a seating chart for contact tracing purposes
  • Parents are encouraged to drive students, if possible to limit the number of students on the bus.
  • Bus riders will continue to have assigned seats, which may be different from their current assigned seat, as there are likely to be more students.
  • There is a temporary restriction on nonessential visitors.

Do students/staff have to wear masks in school?

Yes, according to the current Connecticut State Governor’s Executive Order 13A, all students, staff and visitors are required to use a mask that completely covers the nose and mouth, when they are inside the school building or on school grounds, even when social distancing is maintained. Specific to outdoor settings, masks are not required, but students and staff will continue to wear masks in situations where students and/or staff are outdoors and in close contact while stationary (e.g., sitting/standing together in a group).  Where students are actively moving around during recess or physical education activities, masks can be removed. Masks should also be worn when students are traveling to and from outdoor physical education classes and recess. 
 

Do students have to wear masks on the bus?

Yes, according to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE), a federal order requires masks on all public transportation including school buses. 
 

Will mask breaks be allowed?  

Subject to the provisions of the Board of Education (BOE) policy and associated regulation, breaks from wearing masks shall be scheduled throughout the school day, by the teacher, as long as strict social distancing requirements are maintained and limitations are enforced regarding student and staff mobility.  
 

What kind of masks are required?

Any cloth face covering over the mouth and nose is considered to be effective. If a child or adult wishes to wear a face shield, a face mask/covering is still required under the shield. Masks with vents are not recommended. 
 

Do students have to wear masks while playing sports?

According to Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC), masks must be worn for any indoor sports, with a limit of two guests per athlete. High school athletic teams will follow guidance from the CIAC for individual sports. 
 

Will students and staff have their temperatures taken upon entering the building each morning?

No. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) does not currently recommend schools conduct symptom screening for all students on a daily basis. Instead, families and staff members should review the Daily At-Home Safety Checklist prior to coming to school.
 
Additionally, in the 2021-2022 school year, SPS will participate in a voluntary, free screening, testing program. While not required, unvaccinated staff and students have the opportunity to be tested weekly at their school site.  The testing provider is assigned by DPH.  When it is finalized, specific details will be shared. 

What are the quarantine requirements?

The Stamford Department of Health (DOH) will conduct contact tracing following any positive COVID-19 exposure. Families and school administration will be notified of the need to isolate or quarantine a student through a letter from the Stamford DOH. The dates of these required isolation or quarantine periods will be noted in PowerSchool so that the student’s teacher(s) is aware.  When a student(s) is required to isolate or quarantine, the student(s) will participate in their learning through remote instruction provided by their teacher(s). The Stamford DOH recommends that vaccinated and unvaccinated students who experience COVID-19 symptoms after close contact with a known COVID-19 case will quarantine for 10 days (with a negative test between days 7 and 10) or for 14 days without a test.
 

Non-sports-related quarantine

Students may return to school after 10 days without the need for a negative test, providing there are no COVID-19-associated symptoms throughout the 10 days. All students must be monitored for COVID-19-associated symptoms for a 14-day period.
 
Sports-related quarantine for fully vaccinated students/staff
After close contact with a known COVID-19 case, fully vaccinated students/staff do not have to quarantine, provided they remain asymptomatic and wear a mask until receiving a negative COVID-19 test (taken between days 3 and 5 from the date of contact) or for 14 days without a test.
 
Sports-related quarantine for unvaccinated students/staff
Unvaccinated asymptomatic students, who are a close contact of a known COVID-19 case, will be quarantined for 10 days (with a negative test between days 7 and 10) or for 14 days without a test.
 

When can my student return to sports following a positive COVID-19 test?

The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) and the Stamford Department of Health require written documentation of medical clearance of a student by a medical provider, after that student has met all required isolation requirements.
 

Cleaning Protocols: How will maintenance staff handle cleaning on a daily basis?

  • SPS will continue to create a safe and healthy learning environment for students and staff.
  • Implement a cleaning and sanitizing protocol for during the day and evening.
  • Post health and safety signage, and provide training. 
  • Comply with State COVID-19 Guidelines for Ventilation.
 

Is the ventilation in SPS buildings adequate?

SPS complies with State of Connecticut COVID-19 guidelines for ventilation in all of its buildings. 
 

What do I do if I think my child (or a family member) may have COVID-19?

Contact your healthcare provider. If you do not have a health care provider, please see this list of COVID-19 testing locations.
 

What should I do if my student tests positive?

If your child, or someone in the immediate family, tests positive for COVID-19, please notify your principal and school nurse as soon as possible. The school nurse will guide the family through a risk-assessment and implement the contact tracing process.  Once the contract tracing is done, we will provide information to those affected families, without disclosing any HIPAA documentation. 
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 What if a student or staff member develops symptoms or becomes sick while inside the school building?

If a student or staff member develops symptoms or becomes sick while inside the school building, they should contact their Building nurse.  In keeping with the requirements of the CSDE reopening plan, each school will identify an isolation room for individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 when in the school building. Remember it is important to keep your contact and emergency contact numbers up to date to ensure you are notified immediately if your child is sick.