Health & Safety Guide: November 5, 2021
The biggest news in school health and safety is the FDA emergency approval of vaccinations for children ages 5-11. Additionally, there are just a few updates to the Community Guide. Please go review the entire document, but below are highlights of the few changes we made. These are in place today.
The FDA emergency approval of vaccinations for children ages 5-11 is really positive news. We continue to believe that vaccinations are the single best tool to keep kids safe and learning in school. COVID-19 research and information continues to be a fast-moving situation, we will keep you informed as we make updates. If you are interested in vaccinating your child, please check in with your pediatrician, and here are some helpful links to register for appointments through St. Luke's University Health Network or Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN).
Quarantine & Isolation
Based on new research in our briefings from St. Luke’s, we are extending our quarantine exemption from 3-months to 12-months for people who have tested positive for COVID-19 and who are fully recovered. If you have questions about this, please contact your campus nurse.
Winter athletics begins this month, we’ve updated the protocols from the fall for indoor sports. The Health & Safety Committee has used the guidance from our regular partners as well as District XI and Colonial League athletic directors. The Health & Safety Committee set these protocols acknowledging that these are optional co-curricular programs that are separate from curricular activities that happen during the regular school day. We have also set protocols that can be tailored to our specific facilities: the AWC and Walter Hall Gyms on the Merle-Smith Campus, the Wilson Intermediate School Pool, and the Downtown Campus, and Swain Campus gyms.
There are a couple of differences from last year’s winter sports that we think are important to highlight for everyone. All student-athletes, spectators, and their families need to read the community guide in detail.
Masking: Masks are optional for athletes while on the field of play (court/pool) during practice or competition. Masks are required for all athletes, coaches, and staff when not on the field of play and inside all buildings or buses. This decision is also in line with the Pennsylvania Department of Health's school masking policy, which lists athletics as an exception.
Spectators: Competitions are open to spectators and masking is required. Spectator capacity will be limited and determined by facility. Swain Campus will limit spectator attendance to 2 home team family members per player. The Merle-Smith and Downtown Campus, including the AWC, the Wilson Intermediate School Pool, and the Walter Hall gym, will have a max capacity of 50%. Once capacity is reached, spectators will need to wait outside until someone leaves the building.
Contract Tracing and Quarantine: Teams members and coaches will be subject to quarantine after a positive COVID-19 case unless they are/have:
- Fully vaccinated and are asymptomatic (proof of vaccination is on file in the nurse’s office).
- Tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 12 months with dated proof of infection via PCR or antigen testing on file in the nurse’s office, and they are asymptomatic.
7-Day COVID Break: If 10% of team members (players and coaches) test positive for COVID-19 at one time, the team would be required to cease play for a period of seven days.