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BPS Health and Safety Bulletin #6

BPS Health and Safety Bulletin #6

Belmont Public Schools

February 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Thank you for your continued efforts on behalf of our students and for providing a safe environment for everyone in our schools. Our mitigation strategies are working within our school buildings.

Remember that large gatherings pose a threat of spreading the virus. Refrain from gathering with people outside of your immediate household to decrease the risk of spread.

To keep everyone safe, we ask that everyone do their part and follow the following mitigation measures:

  • Look at the Student Daily Symptom Checker DAILY, this includes a temperature check
  • IF SICK, PLEASE STAY HOME - DO NOT ATTEND SCHOOL IF ANY SYMPTOMS ARE PRESENT
  • MASKS are to be worn at all times except during snacks, breaks, or pool testing.
    • Masks should consist of multiple layers
  • Maintain PHYSICAL DISTANCING (6 feet apart)
  • Practice Frequent HAND HYGIENE throughout the day
  • REMINDER - Bus riders should follow the seating assignments at all times.

The superintendent notifies the community of all positive cases and whether close contacts are identified. In most cases, we have not identified close contacts largely in part to adherence to these mitigation strategies. 

Please Note: Belmont Public Schools and the Belmont Health Department continue to follow the 14-day quarantine requirement for all close contacts. We will continue to evaluate new information and update recommendations as needed.  


DAILY SYMPTOM CHECKING 

Review the Symptom Checker daily before sending your student to school.

If you answer ‘Yes’ to any of the questions on the symptom checker, please complete the Absence Follow-up Form for your school with the link found at the bottom of the symptom checker page.

Nursing Health and Safety Symptom Check Page

If you answer ‘No’ to all questions, your student can report to school as planned.

If you need to be tested for Covid-19, please know that we require all tests to be PCR tests.

PROTOCOL FOR REPORTING AN ABSENCE FROM SCHOOL

  • Fill out the school absence form and call the school absence line - an email to a teacher will not suffice. 
  • In most cases, expect to have a PCR test done, if one hasn’t already been done
  • Forward PCR results to your school nurse. Students must be cleared by the school nurse before returning to any in-person school activities.
  • If an absence is due to travel be sure to plan ahead and allow for enough time to test.

TRAVEL, THE UPCOMING VACATION, AND RETURN TO SCHOOL

Please remember to follow the Massachusetts Travel Order if you are traveling out of Massachusetts or having visitors during the February break.

If you travel out of state:

  1. Refer to the Symptom Check Page and fill out the appropriate attendance form. This will begin the communication process with the school nurse. *
  2. Get a PCR COVID test within 72 hours of your arrival in Massachusetts or after you return. Be sure to quarantine until you get your results. Only PCR tests are acceptable, no other forms of tests will be accepted to return to school.
  3. Forward test results to your school nurse; students and staff members may not return to school until they have been cleared by a nurse.

The town of Belmont and the schools saw an increase in illness and positive cases after the winter break due to travel and gatherings.

*This is especially important to note: PCR test clearances will not be issued from 2/13/21 until after the break on 2/22/21 when nurses return to school. Due to a possibly large amount of tests pending a review, your child’s return to school may be delayed.

TESTING for Illness and Travel

  • Please plan ahead as many people will be looking for testing appointments.
  • Stop the Spread (Provides FREE PCR COVID testing)
  • There are more than 350 testing sites across the Commonwealth, with no copay.  

SPORTS SIGN UP and PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

Students must have an up to date in-person physical exam on file with the school nurse prior to tryouts in order to be eligible to participate in school sports. Physicals will not be processed during the week of vacation. The day we return is extremely busy with contact tracing and absentee follow up. We cannot guarantee that your physical exam will be processed in time. Please submit physicals to the high school nurses by Thursday 2/11/21.

Per the State Department of Public Health regulations and RULE 56 of the MIAA HANDBOOK, physical exams are valid for 13 months from the date of exam, NO EXCEPTIONS. A student’s eligibility will terminate once a physical has reached the 13-month limit. Telehealth visits are not acceptable.

STUDENTS WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN SPORTS WITHOUT A VALID PHYSICAL EXAM ON FILE IN THE NURSE’S OFFICE. 

Important links:

Covid-19 Travel Order - Lower Risk States

CDC Holiday Travel and Gathering

Potential Other Travel Scenarios

Areas affected by the Massachusetts Travel Ban

FLU VACCINE

We have had a low incidence of flu this year due to mask-wearing and compliance to the flu vaccine requirement. We continue to encourage all to get your flu vaccine.

Immunization Requirements for School

Thank you for doing your part to keep everyone safe at school. As always, if you have any questions, please contact your school nurse.

Be Well and Celebrate Safely!

-The Belmont Public Schools Nurses

Visit our COVID site often

BPS Nursing Health and Safety

Health and Nursing slides

Holiday Celebrations and Gatherings

Categories: Uncategorized, Health and Nursing Bulletin

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