@HSD Health Update

March 3, 2022

HSD Will Implement Mask Optional Policy Beginning Monday, March 7


  • Masking for PK-12 students and staff will be optional when 4 of the five following criteria (in the chart below) are met.

  • As of 3/03/2022, the criteria HAS BEEN MET for mask optional on March 7.

Big picture

* "Primary Regimen" is either two doses of the Pfizer/Moderna vaccine or
one dose of the J and J vaccine.


Booster shots will continue to be strongly recommended.



From where do these numbers come?


  • The CALI Score, Case Rate, and % positivity data are from the NJDOH's levels, primarily consistent with Low to Moderate COVID index scores. Haddonfield is in the Southwest Region.

  • This data is publicly available at the NJDOH Communicable Disease site and HSD's COVID Dashboard.



School Climate Expectations


  • When masks become optional, whether a student chooses to wear a mask or not will be considered a "distinguishing characteristic" per Policy 5512 Harassment, Intimidation, and Bullying.

  • Any perceived HIB behavior toward students who either wear or choose not to wear a mask will be subject to the investigative process outlined in Policy 5512 to determine if an act of HIB is substantiated.

Where will Masks Remain Mandatory?


  • UPDATE: On February 25, 2022, CDC announced that the requirement for wearing masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs has been lifted, effective March 7, 2022. This recommendation has been accepted by the NJDOH and the HSD.


  1. At HSD COVID vaccination and testing sites
  2. For those returning to school on day six from a COVID+ diagnosis; Students/staff can return no sooner than day six from a COVID diagnosis (6th day from symptom onset or, if asymptomatic, six days from the admin of the COVID test). Students/staff will continue to be required to wear a mask on days 6-10 at all times, except when eating. We will maintain the current protocol of either providing an alternate setting or 6 feet from others while eating.

  3. Students evaluated in the school health office for respiratory illnesses.

Athletics


  • The Cardiac Clearance form will continue to be required for student-athletes returning from a COVID+ diagnosis.



Health Office Protocol


  • Students evaluated in the school health office for respiratory illnesses will be provided a mask to wear for the duration of the health assessment.

  • Students will be evaluated in the isolation room if space is available.

  • The school nurse will determine if the student should be sent home due to illness or allowed to return to class unmasked.

Additional Considerations When Masks are Optional -

All items are subject to reconsideration if there is a surge in cases.


  1. Booster rates are low among district students and high among staff at 72%. Those not boosted or vaxxed and not masked may be at higher risk for illness.

  2. HSD will modify its approach to contact tracing. When the District is aware of a COVID+ contact in the classroom or during lunch, the entire class/table will be notified.

    1. If your child is not fully vaccinated, it is recommended, not required, to have your child tested within 24 hours. It is recommended to test again after 48 hours. After two negative serial tests over five days, no more testing is recommended.

    2. This is being done based upon the following:

      1. We continue to see a sharp decrease in the volume of COVID+ cases and symptomatic students.

      2. Given this, along with the other metrics used (see the top of page), we decided to initiate pre-pandemic instructional groupings and cafeteria seating, making it nearly impossible to contact trace accurately.

  3. Only symptomatic students/staff and those COVID+ will be required to be excluded from school.

  4. Students and staff with a COVID positive diagnosis will continue to be excluded from school for either five days from the administration of the positive COVID test or five days from the onset of symptoms. Masking will continue to be required when the student or staff member returns to school on days 6-10.

  5. Virtual Instruction, in most cases, will no longer be provided. Exceptions will be made for extended asymptomatic COVID illnesses when the student is well enough to engage, beginning on day 6 of the illness. Assignments will continue to be posted on Google Classroom/Canvas throughout the absence.

  6. Classroom set-ups and collaborative small group instruction will be permitted in classrooms again.

  7. Cafeteria lunch seating will return to pre-pandemic configurations, including seating at the lunch tables without physical distancing.

  8. We aim to provide the option for students to eat indoors or outdoors in grades K-8. This can only be accomplished with a core of parent volunteers. Details forthcoming.

  9. The daily COVID questionnaire will be reconfigured and continued for students and staff. This tool will be re-evaluated following spring break.

  10. HSD continues to offer free testing for all students and staff. Testing is available every Monday from 3-5 PM, and Tuesday/Thursday mornings from 7:15-8:00 AM. Beginning Monday, February 28, all HSD Testing will be Rapid Antigen tests, with results within the hour after testing.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION & RESOURCES

Information on Camden County vaccines and boosters

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