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A Message from Superintendent John Nickerson
Dear AUHSD Parents & Guardians,
Thank you for your family’s efforts with your student(s) to support our safe school environments. We had almost 90% of our students come through our home COVID-19 test pickup stations at our schools on Monday. (If your student has not received an iHealth kit, you can contact your school’s administration to learn if there are still kits available.)
Given the Contra Costa Health Officer’s Order today, we want to inform our parents regarding some important changes in the District health and safety protocols. The Health Officer’s Order brings our schools to greater alignment with the CDPH December 30 update on Isolation and quarantine.
Isolation with COVID-19
For students who test positive for COVID-19, there is an option to reduce isolation and return to school on Day 6 if symptoms are resolving and they have a negative COVID-19 test on Day 5.
- Isolation can end after Day 5 if:
- The student is without a fever for 24 hours (without medication),
- Symptoms are not present or if they are resolving,
- And a COVID-19 test on Day 5 or later tests negative. A COVID-19 rapid antigen test is the test that is recommended by our public health officials. See below for how to return to school.
- Day 0 is the date symptoms began or the date the positive test was taken if without symptoms.
- If unable to test or choosing not to test, and symptoms are not present or are resolving, isolation can end after Day 10. If fever is present, isolation should be continued until fever resolves (without medication).
Students may test for COVID-19 on or after Day 5. If negative, they may come to school and report to a designated area. School staff will confirm the negative status with a rapid test and the student may attend classes. (If the student has a documented test from a health provider or lab, they may show the documentation and will be allowed to return to class without an additional test.)
Students who return after Day 5 must continue to wear a well-fitting mask around others through Day 10 whether indoors or outdoors.
Quarantine for Exposure
If identified as a contact, we have been informed to continue following the student quarantine guidance from the 1st semester. CDPH is expected to change guidance for K-12 schools regarding student quarantine soon. Until then, the following will be in place:
- Fully vaccinated – no required quarantine, but testing is recommended on Day 3-5.
- Unvaccinated and masked during contact – modified quarantine – are allowed to attend school, but quarantined from extracurricular activities for 10 days. The students must test twice a week. A negative test on or after Day 5 will allow return to extracurricular activities on Day 8.
- Unvaccinated and unmasked during contact – quarantine from all school and extracurricular activities for 10 days. A negative test on or after Day 5 will allow return to school and extracurricular activities on Day 8.
Masking is required in all indoor settings (with the exception of some extracurricular activities and other exemptions per CDPH guidance). Masking is strongly recommended in outdoor settings at school when distancing is not possible. Students should attempt to distance when eating and drinking outdoors.
Indoor Events & Large Gatherings
The CDPH updated their guidance for indoor and outdoor “mega-events.” Principals will announce short-term changes for spectator limitations with indoor events.
We remain committed to working with our K-8 partner districts to provide testing opportunities for our families. The schedule and links to signup can be found at the bottom of this AUHSD website.
COVID-19 Vaccination and Boosters
COVID-19 vaccination is now a condition of work and requirement to volunteer in the Acalanes Union High School District. COVID-19 vaccination is not a requirement for students currently, but it is expected to be a requirement for students beginning in July 2022.
We are now strongly encouraging all to obtain the COVID-19 booster if they are eligible and have not yet done so as our public health officials and the medical community indicate that it is an important protective factor to prevent severe COVID-19. Booster status is also expected to impact length or quarantine when CDPH revises the guidance for students. Vaccine appointments can be scheduled through the CCHS website.
We will continue to provide health and safety updates in the coming weeks. The current Omicron surge is expected to peak in mid-January. Together we can keep our school safe and open for in-person instruction.