The following practices are used by Mt. Pleasant School District:
- Identify a COVID Testing Point of Contact. Mrs. Laurie Breton, Director of Student Support Services, has been identified as the COVID Testing Point of Contact to facilitate communication and coordination with the CA Testing Task Force along with other relevant agencies or organizations that oversee school operations.
- Review and reference current testing recommendations provided in the CDPH K-12 School COVID Guidance and any additional recommendations or requirements.
- Maintain situational awareness of the testing resources and programs provided by the Local Health Jurisdiction.
- Monitor the CDC's COVID Community Data Tracker as a method of identifying when to increase or reestablish school testing operations.
- Communicate any questions, concerns, or additional operational testing resources/needs to the CA Testing Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org
The following list describes operational considerations for COVID-19 testing for K-12 schools:
- The Mt. Pleasant School District is currently participating in the direct ordering of COVID-19 over-the-counter (OTC) tests to schools from the California Department of Public Health. Schools use OTC tests to supplant on-site testing in many situations. Such efforts should be paired with educational materials to facilitate proper OTC use, particularly in communities with limited English proficiency and/or lower health literacy.
- California also offers COVID-19 OTC tests to all county offices of education (COEs) for use by public and private school students and staff for return from various prolonged school holiday-break testing, such as summer and winter breaks. Mt. Pleasant School District will continue to distribute to all staff and students COVID-19 OTC tests before various prolonged breaks for students and staff to test before returning to school.
- CDPH recommends that antigen tests be considered the primary option for detecting COVID-19 in schools rather than PCR tests. Both the professional, on-site antigen tests and the OTC at-home antigen tests have been effective in identifying persons with infectious levels of all known variants of SARS-CoV-2. PCR tests are highly sensitive, but their utility is greatest as a confirmatory test in appropriate situations and/or clinical settings. Mt. Pleasant School District has transitioned to solely an antigen testing program for the 2022-23 school year.
- CDPH continues to support professional on-site antigen testing programs in the 2022-2023 school year. However, the volume of anticipated on-site testing is likely to decrease with the increased availability and ease of OTC tests. Mt. Pleasant School District is not currently planning to implement an on-site testing program. However, on-site testing may be considered if rates significantly increase over the school year.
CDPH recommends that antigen tests be considered the primary option for detecting COVID-19 in schools, compared to PCR tests.
Reporting and Monitoring:
- Positive test result; All staff, parents and caretakers are required to notify the office staff of any positive test result. Each school will track results and report cases as required to the Santa Clara County Health Department.
- If the individual testing, tested negative for COVID-19, the symptomatic student or staff member should remain at home until 24 hours have passed since resolution of any fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and other symptoms are improving, unless they were diagnosed with another illness.
- People with symptoms who may have a negative initial antigen test AND are at high risk for hospitalization or death from COVID-19 benefit from early treatment. They may consider PCR (or other molecular) test with an outside provider and/or repeat an antigen test in 24 hours if the PCR result has not returned. Individuals may consider repeat antigen testing every 24-48 hours until a positive test is returned or until symptoms improve.
- When a participant has ambiguous or invalid antigen test results, even on a repeat test, schools can consider repeating an antigen test in 24-48 hours, or PCR testing as an alternative.
Criteria for Returning to School After Illness: For Individuals testing positive for COVID-19, the Mt. Pleasant School District follows the COVID-19 Decision Tree for TK12 and Childcare which may be found at https://covid19.sccgov.org/school-guidance.
The District continues to encourage vaccination against COVID-19, in accordance with CDPH recommendations. In addition, the Mt. Pleasant School District continues to encourage the following mitigating practices;
- Wearing a mask indoors when around others to prevent COVID-19 and other illnesses
- Good hygiene practices, such as handwashing and using hand sanitizer.
- Covering coughs and sneezes in elbows, arms or tissues.
These updates and anticipated changes are based on current scientific knowledge and anticipated trends. The framework is subject to change with guidance from the California Department of Public Health, COVID-19 trends can shift rapidly and California's response to conditions in schools must remain nimble, adaptive, and responsive to dynamic challenges to keep students and staff safe.
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