Response to COVID-19 Update
Friday, November 20, 2020
Message from the Principal
Yesterday, the Lucas County Board of Health unanimously passed and issued a stay at home advisory for the entire county, effective for 28 days, through December 17, 2020. The advisory allows for students and employees to report to work.
As of this very moment, OLPH perseveres with no positive cases and 1 student quarantined. We believe school is a necessary and essential function, and that our community will benefit by continuing our operation. School will remain in session and scheduled as planned for the time being, taking us through Thanksgiving break and the three weeks of school between Thanksgiving break and Christmas break. Our decision on how we will proceed after Christmas break will depend on several factors, one being our community wellness after Thanksgiving break. As all of our COVID-19 response plans are, this is subject to change and hinges on everyone's willingness to be responsible, safe, honest, and transparent.
We have scientific evidence that schools are not super-spreaders. Our current spread of the coronavirus in Lucas County is at an all-time high. We currently sit in a level 3 alert (red) with a high incidence indicator, and the only factor we await to tip us into a level 4 (purple) alert is hospital capacity. Yesterday, the health department mentioned that hospitals in Lucas County have started reducing and pausing elective surgeries and procedures. Our ICUs and other hospital units are inundated and short staffed. We are on the brink of moving to the next level. While we don't see massive spread or outbreak in our school community, know that our actions outside of the school building will directly affect our abilities to successfully educate during a pandemic in the school building.
As your principal, fellow parent, and member of the OLPH community, I beg that you use common sense over the next several weeks. We know that your holiday gatherings, travel, and celebrations are important to both you and your families. We know that these moments are part of your faith, heritage, and the love that you share with one another. We know that these events are likely going to take place. We aren't asking that you eliminate them, but we are asking that you conduct them responsibly and safely, that when you plan and execute them you are honest with yourselves and those around you, and that you do so with OLPH in mind. We ask that you are transparent with us so that we may continue to do our part to keep our school healthy and functioning as much as possible.
In the next several sections of this update, we are providing bullet-point scenarios, frequently asked questions, as well as directives of what we need you to do for us. Please read them and commit yourselves to those guidelines.
OLPH Trailblazers, this is a time that we must rise up and come together. This is a time when our commitment to each other is vital to our success moving forward. This is a time when our faith and our conviction must be to each other. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to keeping our school community open, functioning, healthy, and safe. You are the reason we are here!
Jarett T. Kuhns, M.Ed.
Please Be Transparent With Us
- If you or anyone in your household has been exposed to COVID-19;
- If you or anyone in your household has high risk symptoms of COVID-19;
- If you or anyone in your household has been or plans to get tested for COVID-19;
- If you or anyone in your household has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19;
- If you or anyone in your household has been placed on quarantine or isolation by a health department or medical professional;
- If you or anyone in your household or a different household of your student has tested or plans to get tested for COVID-19, is showing high or low risk symptoms of COVID-19, or has been exposed to COVID-19;
- If you or anyone in your household has not followed guidelines for holiday celebrations (listed below);
- If you or anyone in your household has traveled or plans to travel internationally;
- If you or anyone in your household has traveled domestically to a location on the Ohio Travel Advisory List which is updated weekly by the Ohio Department of Health (https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/families-and-individuals/COVID-19-Travel-Advisory/).
Please contact us anytime. If you are attempting to contact us over a weekend or break, which we encourage when necessary, please use email or our after-hours/weekend phone lines.
OLPH Clinic Phone Number: 419-381-9714
School Office Phone Number: 419-382-5696
School Fax Number: 419-382-1745
Principal Jarett Kuhns Weekend/After-Hours Line (call/text): 567-218-3408
Nurse Angie Bauman Weekend/After-Hours Line (call/text): 419-405-5665
Principal Jarett Kuhns Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nurse Angie Bauman Email: email@example.com
Before Choosing to Host or Attend a Holiday Celebration
Before choosing to host or attend a holiday gathering, consider community levels of COVID-19, exposure during travel, location of the gathering, duration of the gathering, number of people attending, behaviors of all attendees prior to the gathering, and expected behaviors of attendees during the gathering. Once you have considered these factors, make an informed decision to attend or not attend.
- Do not host or attend the holiday gathering if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and have not met the health department guidelines to safely expose yourself to others.
- Do not host or attend the holiday celebration if you have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Do not host or attend the holiday celebration if you are waiting on COVID-19 test results.
- Do not host or attend the holiday celebration if you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
- Do not host or attend the holiday celebration if you are at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are an older adult or person with certain medical conditions who is at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or live or work very closely with someone who is at increased risk of severe illness, you should avoid in-person gatherings with people who do not live in your household.
- Do not host or attend holiday celebrations or gatherings with anyone who has COVID-19 or has been exposed to COVID-19 within the last 14 days.
When Attending or Hosting a Holiday Celebration
- Wear masks that cover the mouth, nose, and chin except when eating and drinking.
- Social distance from those who do not live in your household.
- Wash your hands frequently throughout the gathering. Use hand sanitizer in between.
- Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items such as serving utensils.
- Clean and disinfect commonly touched surfaces frequently throughout the gathering.
- Wear a mask when preparing food.
- Have one person wearing a mask serve all the food to limit the handling of shared dishes and utensils.
- Wash dishes in the dishwasher or with hot, soapy water immediately following the holiday celebration.
- Do not share dishes, place settings, glasses, etc.
If Traveling, Know of this Requirement
All international travelers are quarantine for 2 weeks at home upon return before returning to the building.
All domestic travelers who are commuting to a location on the Ohio Travel Advisory list (https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/families-and-individuals/COVID-19-Travel-Advisory/) which is updated weekly by the Ohio Department of Health are required to quarantine for 2 weeks at home upon return before returning to the building.
We ask that you report to the school if you meet one of the two travel categories and we will assist you in determining your quarantine timeframe.
Don't forget to check the Ohio travel advisory list weekly.
What Does Quarantine Mean?
Don’t go out- stay home
Do your best to stay away from others in your home
Wash your hands frequently
If you share a bathroom with others, sanitize it frequently
Monitor for symptoms, including taking your temperature daily
If you show symptoms of illness, that begins your ISOLATION time, and your family now begins their quarantine
What if I am a Single Parent/Guardian and I have to Quarantine?
As parents, we don’t really get a day off, and staying 6 feet away from your kids may not be an option.
- The most important thing you can do is PAY ATTENTION to your symptoms. If you have been exposed to COVID, don’t assume your symptoms are allergies or a cold
- Keep your kids home if you begin to show any symptom that is consistent with COVID. The list of symptoms is long, but early quarantine of your family members is what prevents large numbers of staff and students from having to quarantine
- Contact your healthcare provider for guidance on testing
Do My Kids Have to Stay Home if My House Has to Quarantine?
Not necessarily. In most cases, your student will be a secondary contact (or a contact of
a contact). Because of the nature of illness, if the quarantined person begins to show
symptoms, that is when the rest of the family would begin to quarantine. Hopefully, the
incubation period will be long enough that the people you share a home with will not be
contagious yet, and will prevent spread by starting their own quarantine. This is also
why we mask and distance.
What Do I Do if I Find Out Mid-Day that My Child Has Been Exposed to COVID-19
Please call the school and notify us immediately. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE END OF THE DAY TO PICK THEM UP! Your student will be removed from class, while they wait for you to pick them up.
Won’t everyone know that we have been exposed if you pull them from the middle of class? Will my student be embarrassed?
Not really. We have students in and out of class all day every day for testing, appointments, sibling illnesses, and many other random reasons. Being taken out of class is not a cause for alarm this year. Our students have adapted, and we will always do our best to protect your privacy.
How Long Does Quarantine Last?
This can be really tricky and the answer depends on how you were exposed. Below are some examples, but keep in mind that each family scenario may be different. Again, as parents of young children, it may not be possible to isolate effectively when you are the caregiver, and that can make quarantine very long for little ones.
Scenario 1: My family was at Thanksgiving dinner and we found out Monday that my brother has COVID. No one in my family has symptoms. What should I do?
○ Call the school and make arrangements to come pick up your kids
○ Remain at home for 14 days and monitor everyone’s symptoms
On the 14th completed day, if everyone remains symptom free, we will see your student back on the 15th day!
Scenario 2: We went to my family Thanksgiving and on Sunday Grandma developed a fever and lost her sense of smell. What do we do?
○ Because loss of sense of smell is a distinct symptom of COVID, your family should begin to quarantine. Do not report to school on Monday
○ Call school and alert them to the situation
○ Unless you live with Grandma, we will see you in 15 days (14 completed days of quarantine)
Scenario 3: My student has returned to school after Thanksgiving break and on Monday evening develops a fever, fatigue and a sore throat. What do we do?
○ Alert the nurse as soon as possible. Working through the school nurse algorithm, she will help you come up with a back to school plan.
Scenario 4: Based on the symptoms in the above scenario, our family doctor recommends a COVID test and my student tests positive for COVID. What do we do?
○ Alert the school nurse so that she can begin contact tracing.
○ Contact tracing will be used to identify all students that have come in close contact for 48 hours prior to onset of symptoms.
○ Your student begins their isolation period and in 11 days (10 completed days of isolation), if their symptoms are better and they are fever free, we will see them back at school!
○ The rest of your family and any close contacts they have here at school, will be on quarantine for at least 14 days, depending on everyone’s last exposure dates.
Scenario 5: My family has tested negative, but I am positive!
○ Now it’s time to isolate!
- Stay in your room, and if you must be in the same room as them, wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away. Cover your coughs and sneezes, wash your hands and sanitize surfaces, especially in shared areas, often.
- If you are feeling better, and it’s been 10 days from the start of your symptoms, and you have been 24 hours fever free without the use of medications- you have just completed your Isolation period!
- Your family, if you have been able to isolate yourself, will be able to come out of their quarantine 14 days from the last time they were in contact with you
Scenario 6: I have COVID and I am the parent of a 1st and 3rd grader. I have mild symptoms and they live with me and I have to take care of them. How long do they quarantine?
○ Your children would quarantine the entire time you are in isolation, and an additional 14 days from the time your isolation ends. Since you are considered contagious for a 10 day period (and in some cases longer depending on your symptoms)
***Per the Toledo Lucas County Health Department, if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you still need to quarantine the full 14 days, regardless of a negative test.***
Scenario 7: If you have been reading for this long, thank you! As a reward, email Nurse Angie and your students will receive a jeans pass!
Can I Still Pickup and Dropoff if I am Quarantined?
Yes, but please stay in your car.
Who Will Contact Me if My Kids Have Been Exposed to COVID-19?
Most likely, the school nurse or Mr. Kuhns will contact you to let you know of an
exposure and will begin your quarantine. After the school has done it’s contact
tracing, we will notify the Health Department. The Health Department has asked
that schools do their own contact tracing, so we will have some questions for you
to answer, and will be able to give you a timeline for returning to school.
Because of the increased number of cases, you may never be contacted by the
Health Department, and any changes in your status would need to be reported
back to the school, so we can adjust your dates or trace further if needed.