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Updated Covid-19 Procedures from ODH to start on 1/31/22

Posted on: January 27, 2022


January 27, 2022

Dear Talawanda Students, Families, and Staff:

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) has changed and updated COVID-19 procedures.  The Butler County Health Department (BCHD) also endorses these new changes.  The new protocols will go into effect Monday 1/31/22.

Schools are no longer required to do contact tracing unless there is an outbreak found within a building.  Students and staff who are positive need to report their status to the school nurse or administrator.  If a student or staff member is positive for COVID-19, the person must stay home for 5 days (even if the student or staff member does not have any symptoms).  The nurse or administrator will provide additional guidance and directions when the family or staff member contacts us.  

If a student or staff member has COVID-19 symptoms and a positive case has not been determined, the student or staff member needs to stay home for 5 days.  Again, call the nurse or administrator who will provide additional directions.  If a student or staff member is a direct contact but does not have any symptoms, the student or staff member may return to school, but must wear a mask for 5 days.  Again, please notify the nurse or administrator of any direct contacts, such as living with a person who is positive.  If a student or staff develops COVID-19 symptoms or is not feeling well, please stay home, contact the nurse or administrator, and follow the directions provided.

The guidance also provides information regarding vaccination status.  While we are not requiring you to disclose your vaccination status.  Students and staff who are vaccinated or had COVID-19 within the last 90 days are highly recommended to share this information with our nurses or administrators.  Again, this is your choice to share or not share.

The Test-to-Play still remains in effect for extra curricular activities including athletics.  For further information, click on this link HERE.   It is imperative that we keep our schools open, stop spread, and maintain a healthy environment.  If individuals are ill, have COVID-19 symptoms, or you are not sure, please stay home and contact the nurse or administrator for additional directions.

Our nurses and administrators will continue to partner with BCHD.   We will follow all orders such as isolation and quarantining issued by BCHD.

Currently, Talawanda has a mask mandate in place for all of its buildings.  We recommend the Kn95 or N95 masks.  Doubling or tripling cloth masks or wearing surgical masks are better than a single cloth mask.  With these new requirements and the mask mandate, almost all students and staff will be able to return back to school as long as the individuals are not positive for COVID-19, ill, or have COVID-19 symptoms.   We will follow the new procedures and NOT contact trace UNLESS there is an outbreak as determined by BCHD.  

In the recent 2 weeks, we have seen an uptick in COVID-19 for both our students and staff.  This has resulted in a shortage of staff in conjunction with the limited number of substitutes available.  We have moved the middle school to remote learning and closed the district due to staffing issues, COVID-19, and ensuring our schools can operate safely.  With these new procedures, we want to ensure we can remain open to in-person-learning.  Thank you for your continued support to keep/stay home for both students and staff who are ill.  Consider any illness as a possible COVID-19 positive illness unless there is a negative COVID-19 test or an alternative diagnosis.

You will no longer receive exposure letters if your child was exposed in the classroom. COVID-19 is in our community, state, nation, and world.  If your child becomes ill during the day, we will call you.  We also continue to use the CARES room, use additional cleaning protocols, separate people as much as possible, and assist our families with COVID-19 information and directions from BCHD.  We have had many students quarantined that were exposed but have never developed any symptoms or become positive, yet have had to miss school.  We also have students and staff members who live with a positive person and have become positive within the 1-10 day timeframe.  We will need to work with you for a careful balance.  We do not want an outbreak and we want to keep our schools open.  These procedures could change again, as we have witnessed throughout the pandemic.  We will keep you informed as we receive new or updated information from health officials.  Please contact our nurses and administrators if you have any questions.

In Education,

Dr. Edward Theroux

Talawanda Superintendent