Dear students and families,
Thank you for helping us keep everyone safe and healthy by following all of our COVID-19 protocols. I know that some things may seem “extra”, but we are hopeful that by staying strict with our protocols now, we will be able to continue to have everyone in the building all year.
The following response protocols will be in place until further notice. Please be sure to stay home if you are a close contact to anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 or are showing any symptoms.
Masks that fully cover the mouth and nose must be worn by everyone in the building except when eating. Students and staff will eat outside whenever possible and will eat inside only at designated times and in designated areas.
DESE and DPH continue to strongly recommend that all faculty, staff, and eligible students receive the COVID-19 vaccine. PVPA will be issuing a vaccine mandate for faculty and staff. The details of the mandate are currently being discussed by the Labor-Management Committee and will be shared with everyone as soon as they are complete. We know that 72% of our students have received at least one shot of the vaccine as of today and we hope to see that number rise in the coming weeks.
PVPA will be offering a vaccine clinic on campus soon. More information will be coming including the date and other details.
Testing and Quarantining
PVPA will be using two forms of testing this fall. Similar to the spring, we will be administering Routine COVID Pooled Testing on a weekly basis. In addition, we will administer Symptomatic Testing using the BinaxNOW rapid antigen test for individuals who begin to show symptoms while in the building.
Everyone, whether vaccinated or unvaccinated should follow the testing and quarantine response protocols as outlined below. If you are experiencing symptoms or believe that you are considered a close contact to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 and are unsure how to proceed, please contact Mary Colwell, RN, our school nurse.
Duration: Dependent on symptom resolution
Return to School: Individuals may return to school after they:
- Have received a negative PCR test result for COVID-19. Note: So long as the individual is not a close contact, if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis for the COVID-19-like symptoms, the individual may use this recommendation (e.g., for influenza or strep pharyngitis) in lieu of a PCR test.
- Have improvement in symptoms
- Have been without fever for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
COVID-19 symptoms list
• Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• New loss of taste or smell
• Muscle aches or body aches
• Cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
• Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea when in combination with other symptoms
• Headache when in combination with other symptoms
• Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies) when in combination with other symptoms
- Duration: Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 10 days after symptom onset or after positive PCR or antigen test, if asymptomatic.
- Return to school: After 10 days and once they have:
- Been without fever for 24 hours (and without taking fever-reducing medications); and
- Experienced improvement in other symptoms; and
- Individuals who do not meet these criteria after 10 days may receive clearance from either public health authority contact tracers (the local board of health or Community Tracing Collaborative) or school health professional before returning to school.
- Note: Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution.
Close contacts should also follow the testing and quarantine response protocols. Close contacts are defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes during a 24-hour period. Please note that the at-risk exposure time begins 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or time of positive test if asymptomatic) and continues until the time the COVID-19 positive individual is isolated.
- Duration: Quarantine is at least 7 days from the date of exposure
- Return to School: After 7 days, returning on day 8, provided that they:
- Remain asymptomatic
- Receive a COVID test (PCR or rapid antigen) on day 5 or later and receive a negative result
- Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 14, and self-isolate if symptoms develop.
- Note: If an individual has symptoms at the time they are designated as a close contact or within the 14 days following initial exposure, they follow the protocol for symptomatic individuals. If an individual tests positive at any time, they follow the protocol for individuals who test positive.