BW COVID Protocol Updates - 1/5/22
Message from Ana C. Riley, Superintendent of Schools
January 5, 2022
Dear BWRSD Community,
We would like to share updated guidance from the Rhode Island Department of Health and the CDC regarding COVID-19. Based on the changes released on December 31, 2021 we are adjusting our protocols for quarantine and isolation, as well as increasing our capacity for in school screening, referred to as Monitor to Stay, and in school testing for our athletes, referred to as Test to Play. Students and staff who are currently under quarantine or isolation will be contacted by the school nurse regarding these updates.
These approaches are in addition to the continued focus on full vaccination and booster of adults and children ages 5 and older and mask wearing in public. Information on upcoming vaccination clinics is provided below. These two strategies continue to be the most effective means of minimizing the transmission and impact of COVID-19. Please note that to be vaccination exempt means that an individual has received a booster shot and completed the primary series of Pfizer or Moderna vaccine within the last 6 months or received the J&J vaccine within the last 2 months.
Students and staff who are close contacts to a known COVID-19 case may return to school under the following conditions.
UPDATED QUARANTINE AND ISOLATION GUIDANCE FOR STUDENTS AND STAFF
Monitor to Stay
Monitor to Stay has been utilized in Connecticut since the start of school and has not led to increased transmission. The data has proven that schools are the safest place for our children. Monitor to Stay is only for school based settings, and allows students and staff identified as close contacts to a known COVID-19 case, who are not yet fully vaccinated to be able to remain in school as long as they consistently and correctly wear a mask and don’t develop symptoms. They are eligible to participate in Monitor to Stay if the close contact with a COVID-19 case occurred under all of the following conditions:
The contact occurred during the school day (not during extracurricular, athletic, or social events);
Both the contact and the COVID-19 case were consistently masked during the exposure even if brief unmasked periods (e.g., snack time, cafeteria) occurred, and as long as three feet or more of space was consistently maintained;
If outdoors at school, both individuals were masked or supervised if unmasked (e.g., mask breaks, physical education, recess);
The close contact remains asymptomatic (if they develop any symptoms they must revert to regular isolation/quarantine requirements).
Monitor to Stay will bring immediate relief to the frequent and repeated quarantines that continue to impact student learning and place a burden on working families. It will help ensure that more students can remain in school and that BWRSD can provide a safe, in-person learning environment for our students and staff.
Test to Play
All student athletes and coaches are required to participate in weekly BINAX (antigen) testing beginning January 3, 2021. Athletes and coaches participating in high-risk sports including hockey, wrestling, and gymnastics must participate in testing two times per week. Athletes and coaches will be advised of required dates/times for testing. PLEASE NOTE: We will not test any student who does not have a consent form on file.
Isolation and Quarantine Changes
In-School COVID-19 Testing
BWRSD schools have the capacity to test any of our students or staff who believe they are symptomatic. Based on RIDOH guidance, we are currently using antigen (rapid) tests which provide quicker results and are appropriate for asymptomatic people. We must have a current test consent form on file in order to provide testing (consent forms are only valid if they were signed this school year). If you have not completed the BWRSD COVID-19 Testing Guardian Opt-In Request Form in the Aspen Parent Portal, you can click on the link below to complete the form for your child’s school:
Upcoming Vaccination Clinics
Hugh Cole Elementary School, 50 Asylum Rd, Warren, RI 02885
- Thursday, 1/20/22, 3:30PM to 6:30PM; open to all ages 5 and up for Pfizer first and second doses, and booster doses for ages 16 and older. Booster doses for ages 12-15 may be available pending approval. Vaccine Clinic Link will be sent out when available.
Bristol Fire Department, 4 Annawamscutt Dr, Bristol, RI, 02809
Thursday, 1/06/2022,10:00AM-3:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link) and 3:00PM-6:00PM (Ages 5-11; Link for 5-11 year old vaccine clinic only available here)
Tuesday, 1/11/2022,10:00AM-4:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link)
Thursday, 1/13/2022,10:00AM-4:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link) and 3:00PM-6:00PM (Ages 5-11; Link for 5-11 year old vaccine clinic only available here)
Tuesday, 1/18/2022,10:00AM-4:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link)
Thursday, 1/20/2022,10:00AM-4:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link)
Tuesday, 1/25/2022,10:00AM-4:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link)
Thursday, 1/27/2022, 10:00AM-4:00PM (Ages 12 and older; Vaccine Clinic Link) and 3:00PM-6:00PM (Ages 5-11; Link for 5-11 year old vaccine clinic available here)
Vaccinations offered at the clinics by Bristol Fire Department: Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine, Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine, Pfizer-BioNTech. Additional information can be found at https://www.bristolri.gov/covid-19/.
With our children in mind,
Superintendent of Schools