Due to this novel coronavirus we are actively strategizing how best to approach any possible infection at our school once the doors open. We would like to keep you informed of what to expect. Please read the following plans carefully, and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Department of Early & Secondary Education (DESE) have put out comprehensive protocols for how to handle an illness in school. Both the preschool and the elementary school will be following the same protocol. We have attached the full detailed protocol should you be interested, but for your ease a summary is as follows.

Caregivers should be monitoring their children, and staff will monitor themselves and the students for any symptoms.

Symptoms include:
- fever (100.0 degree Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills
- cough (not due to other known cause, such as chronic cough)
- difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- new loss of taste or smell
- sore throat
- headache when in combination with other symptoms
- muscle aches or body aches
- nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea
- 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

Cases will be handled as follows:

1. Student is symptomatic: If at home, they AND their sibling(s) should stay home. If at school, they will be isolated in a designated area, parents will be contacted and should pick their student(s) up as soon as possible. Current Massachusetts DPH guidance is that ALL symptomatic individuals in Massachusetts, even those with mild symptoms, should be tested for COVID-19. This is KEY to our school being able to ensure the safety of our students and their families and is the only way we will be able to contain any possible outbreak. A list of available test sites are here: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/about-covid-19-testing#where-can-get-a-test? - Massachusetts also has an interactive testing map: https://memamaps.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id =eba3f0395451430b9f631cb095febf13 It is essential that students with symptoms contact their pediatrician for further instructions and notify the school (Digin Maral in the preschool, Arlet in the Elementary school) immediately when a test has been done and then immediately upon results. The following scenarios will be handled accordingly:

(a) Individual tests negative: they may return to school once they have been symptom free without medications for 24 hours. Sibling(s) may return immediately.

(b) Individual tests positive: remain home, monitor symptoms, notify personal close contacts and answer the call from the local board of health. They may return after 10 days of onset of symptoms AND having been symptom free without medications for at least 3 days. Sibling(s) should be tested 4-5 days after initial exposure but regardless of test results may not return for 14 days as this is the suspected incubation period for this virus.

(c) Individual is not tested: Again, this scenario is strongly discouraged. But should the family choose not to test, the Individual and their sibling(s) must remain home in self-isolation for 10 days from symptom onset and may not return until fever free without medications for at least 3 days. Classmates' parents will be notified of a sick peer in quarantine and parents can decide accordingly if they'd like to quarantine their student, test 4-5 days after exposure, or not. We are working with DPH to devise a plan for classrooms where more than a couple students have been sick at home and have declined testing, which will likely include complete quarantine of their classmates (both cohorts in a hybrid model) and their teacher for two weeks. Again, this is why testing is so important, to ensure in-classroom education is possible.

2. Close contacts of a positive case: Should an individual in the classroom test positive, classmates (both cohorts in a hybrid model) will be notified immediately of a positive case. The classmates and the teacher will be asked to remain home for 14 days as this is the suspected incubation period for this virus. Close contacts are encouraged to get tested 4-5 days after their last exposure if they are without symptoms, or immediately if they have symptoms. However, even with a negative test result they will be asked to remain home for the 14 day time period. Sibling(s) of close contacts may continue to go to school if they (and the close contact) are symptom free without medications.

3. Student is exposed to a known COVID-19 positive contact outside of school: they and their sibling alone will follow step 2 above. The remainder of their classmates can continue to attend school as they normally would. Should the individual exposed test positive, then step 2 will be implemented for the entire classroom.

We appreciate your patience as we continue to plan for the safest possible return to school. The landscape of this pandemic is ever changing, and most certainly there will need to be adjustments made as we move forward into cold and flu season. But with your cooperation and vigilance we believe we can keep our students, their families, and our staff safe and healthy!

Take care and stay safe.

The Health and Safety Subcommittee of the SSAES COVID-19 Task Force

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