COVID-19 protocols

September 24, 2021 - COVID-19 Protocols

This document outlines Nerstrand Public Charter Schools current COVID-19 protocols. They are subject to change based on the evolving public health situation. Families will be immediately notified of changes to COVID-79 protocols. Statewide and/or federal protocols may supersede certain district protocols. (Document updated Sept. 24, 2021)

For more information see the Faribault District COVID-19 Update Page. Other important information is located on the Minnesota's 14-day COVID-19 Case Rate by County on the CDC website and Rice County's Current Situation Update (scroll down for the case rate.)

Vaccination

Vaccination for those 12 and older is the best tool we have to fight COVID-19. All three of the available vaccines are safe, free and highly effective. The vaccines have gone through the same safety steps and studies as the other vaccines our children routinely get. While a fully vaccinated person may be able to pass the disease to others, the health experts we've consulted with tell us a vaccinated person is much less likely to become infected, and if they do, their illness is less likely to be severe.

Face Coverings

For K-5 students, staff, visitors and volunteers, the Center for Disease Control transmission matrix will be referred to for determining when masks are strongly recommended or required based on the Rice County seven-day case rate per 100,000 residents. (Effective Sept. 24)

Masks will be strongly recommended indoors for everyone age 5 and older if transmission of COVID-19 in Rice County is Low {0-9 cases per 100,000 residents} or Moderate (10-49 cases per 100,000).

Masks will be required indoors for everyone age 5 and older, regardless of vaccination status, if transmission of COVID-19 is Substantial (50-99 cases per 100,000) or High (greater than or equal to 100 cases per 100,000)

Shifting between strongly recommended or required masking will be made after case rates remain within a category for at least seven consecutive days. The following face coverings are acceptable: paper or disposable mask, cloth face mask, scarf, neck gaiter, bandana, and medical-grade masks and respirators.

Physical Distancing

Staff will take reasonable steps to provide spacing between students whenever possible.

Self-screening

Students and staff are expected to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms daily before coming to school. Those experiencing any symptoms should follow the COVID-19 Decision Tree to determine if they should attend school.

Cleaning and Hygiene

Enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms and common areas will continue. Healthy hygiene behaviors, such as regular hand washing, are strongly recommended.

Handling suspected or confirmed cases

The district health aide will report cases of COVID-19 to the Minnesota Department of Health. Staff and families should self-report to the school if they or their student have symptoms of COVID-19, test positive for COVID-19, or recently had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19

Isolation

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves by staying home from school until all three of the following are true: 1. They are asymptomatic, 2. It has been 10 days since they first felt sick or tested positive, and 3. They have had no fever for at least 24 hours, without using fever-reducing medicine.

Students or staff with a member of their household who tested positive for COVID-19 should follow the COVID-19 Decision Tree to determine if the individual needs to quarantine. Students displaying at least one common symptom or two less common symptoms should also follow the COVID-19 Decision Tree. Families should contact their Barb Grote (school health aide) if they have any questions.

Quarantine for close contact with someone at school who tested positive for COVID-19 is no longer required. The Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control recommend that all close contacts, vaccinated and unvaccinated, get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after exposure.

Transportation

Face coverings are required to be worn by all staff and students riding in school buses and other vehicles as part of instructional programming (e.g. to and from school, field trips, educational outings), per the CDC's federal order.

Visitors and volunteers

Visitors and volunteers are welcome. Nerstrand School will keep a roster of visitors and volunteers (name, contact information, date, time, program, site, etc) as practicable.


Face coverings required starting Friday, Sept. 24th.

At the August 30th Nerstrand Board of Directors Special meeting it was decided by vote that should Faribault School District move to a mask mandate, Nerstrand School would follow this mandate. At a special meeting on Monday, Sept. 20, the Faribault Public Schools board voted to approve that the district follow the Center for Disease Control's recommendation to require indoor masking in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under these new guidelines beginning Friday, September 24th, face coverings will be required for all students (5 and older) and staff at Nerstrand School until the Rice County COVID-19 case rate falls to below 50 cases per 100,000 residents. The current Rice County case rate is 261.

The following face coverings are acceptable: paper or disposable masks, cloth face mask, scarf, neck gaiter, bandana, and medical-grade masks and respirators. Those requesting a medical exemption can contact Barb at 507-333-6850 or email: barb@nerstrand.charter.kl2.mn.us.

The CDC's masking recommendation is supported by Rice County Public Health and Mayo Clinic. Additionally, nearly 70 local doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants have endorsed indoor masking as a way to help limit the spread of COVID-19.

In addition to reviewing information provided by public health experts, the Faribault School Board and the Nerstrand ICT team has also monitored situations in other school districts without masking requirements where outbreaks forced large numbers of students to go into quarantine. By following the CDC's masking recommendation, the Nerstrand Board of Directors and Nerstrand ICT Team hopes Nerstrand Public Charter School can avoid any disruptions to learning, and keep students and staff safe, healthy, and in the classroom.