February 7, 2022
Message from the Superintendent
Dear PUSD Community,
As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations begin to decline, I am hopeful that vaccination rates will continue to increase and in-person instruction will carry on without interruption for the remainder of the school year. Pasadena Unified is taking several steps to keep our kids in the classroom because we believe students learn more when they are in-person at school as there are fewer distractions and face-to-face interactions can improve overall mental and emotional well-being. In order to keep our students safe and healthy, we are adopting new pandemic protocols according to guidance from state and local health officials. The guidelines may be a bit confusing so we are hoping to clarify and simplify the plan for parents, students, and school leaders.
NEW COVID PROTOCOLS
STUDENTS who have a POSITIVE test result must ISOLATE (stay in their home or other residence) for a period of at least 10 days from the date symptoms first appeared or the date of the positive test.
They may return to school if:
10 days have passed from the start of symptoms or the date of the positive test
No fever for at least 24 hours, without the use of medication
Other symptoms have improved
Isolation is required when you test positive regardless of vaccination status. This revised exposure management plan poses a lower risk by preventing students who test positive from returning to school too soon when they could potentially still be contagious. Studies estimate 31 percent of those who test positive remain infectious on Day 5.
STUDENTS who have been EXPOSED and are identified as CLOSE CONTACTS are REQUIRED to QUARANTINE if they are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. A close contact exposure is generally defined as being within 6 feet of an infectious person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period or living within the same household.
Requirements for unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated close contacts:
Must quarantine for at least 5 days
Must test on or after Day 5.
The test must be an FDA-authorized viral COVID-19 test ( PCR or Rapid Antigen). In order to return to school on Day 6, the test must be observed and verified by a medical professional (this can be done at the Primary Clinic). Test results must be negative.
Must monitor for symptoms for 10 days from the date of last exposure.
Students are now required to wear upgraded masks which at a minimum are well-fitting, non-cloth masks of multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire. Cloth masks may be worn over the upgraded mask. (PUSD COVID-19 SAFETY PLAN)
PUSD must provide a medical-grade surgical mask to symptomatic students who are waiting in the designated isolation area prior to leaving campus, if they are wearing a less protective mask.
Again, if your child is a close contact but is fully vaccinated or has recovered from COVID-19 in the last 90 days, they do not need to be quarantined and can remain in school. They are required to monitor for symptoms for 10 days past the date of exposure and test for COVID-19 on or around Day 5 past the date of exposure.
We would also like to remind you that getting vaccinated and boosted when eligible is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect yourself and those you love. It allows you to stay in school and keep doing the work you have to do and the things you love to do.
PUSD VACCINATION CLINICS
The District has several upcoming vaccination clinics (no appointment necessary but registration is helpful):
February 14, 2022, 8am - 3:30pm, Ed Center, 351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena (Pfizer Only)
Primary vaccine series (1st and 2nd dose) and boosters
February 16, 2022, 2:30 - 4pm, Madison Elementary, 515 E Ashtabula St., Pasadena
Primary vaccine series (Pfizer - 1st and 2nd dose) and boosters
Individuals ages 5 years and older are currently eligible to obtain a vaccine that protects
against COVID-19. PUSD Mobile Testing clinics visit school campuses once per week for student and staff testing. You can find our District testing schedule here.
Vaccine appointments are available through MyTurn.ca.gov, or call the COVID-19 information line at 833-422-4255, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the Pasadena Citizen Service Center at 626-744-7311 for assistance. Links to vaccine appointments at pharmacies and other federal, state, and county sites are available at the PPHD website.
VIDEO/ ART CONTEST
Normally, we can’t keep our kids away from social media but now they can get paid to post – something positive of course! PUSD students have a chance to win up to $1500 through a video and art competition highlighting the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Pasadena Public Health Department is inviting students to create and submit artwork or share a short video on TikTok or Instagram with a powerful and positive COVID-19 vaccine message. All students ages 4-24 currently enrolled in grades TK-college in Pasadena schools are eligible to enter the #VaccinatePasadena Video Contest. Awards are funded by a grant through L.A. Care Health Plan and range from $50 to $1,500. Deadline for entries is February 17, 2022. Winners will be announced during a virtual awards ceremony in March 2022. View complete contest details and official rules.
Have a great week!
Brian McDonald, Ed.D.
Getting the vaccine will help protect our students and employees. COVID-19 vaccines are available for everyone ages 5 and over. Get the COVID-19 vaccine to keep our community safe! www.pusd.us/vaccine
#VaccinatePasadena #PUSDproud @CityOfPasadena