Dear Viking Parent(s)/Guardian(s) & Staff:

As you are aware, the current surge in the Omicron variant has created immense pressure on our school and staff members as we work to keep our classrooms staff and in-person learning possible.  Since the beginning of the 2nd semester USD 330 Mission Valley has experienced 52 positive cases of COVID-19 (43 student & 9 staff members).  Up until now we have tried to identify individuals who were close contacts.  In that process, we have identified well over 300 individuals as close contacts.   In addition to the strain caused at the school level, USD 330 Mission Valley recognizes that when students and staff who can not attend school/work because of close contact factors that it causes additional burdens for families as well.

Yesterday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) along with the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE) informed school districts that contact tracing activities done by school districts may be temporarily suspended for 30-days.  With this information by KDHE & KSDE, the decision has been made to cease contact tracing at USD 330 Mission Valley with the exception of close contacts who reside in the household of a positive case.

What does this mean for our Viking Family?  Beginning today, Wednesday, January 19th, our district will no longer directly notify those who may have been in contact through classroom or extracurricular activities, with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19.  We will continue to send out general notifications when a positive case has been identified which may have caused possible exposure to others at the school.  Until changed, the only individuals who will be excluded from school/work are individuals who we learn have tested positive for COVID-19, and/or students/staff members who are identified as close contacts in the household that do not meet any of the criteria to be exempted as a close contact.

How long will a student/staff member identified as a positive case be required to be excluded from school/work?   A student or staff member identified as a positive case will be excluded from school/work for 5-days.  This begins with Day 0, which is the date of the onset of symptoms or in cases where the individual is asymptomatic, the date of the test.

When is the student/staff member identified as a positive case permitted to return? A student/staff member identified as a positive case may return to school/work on Day 6, or the first day following Day 6 in the event that Day 6 is on a non-school/work day.  

What are the guidelines for students/staff members returning to school must follow to be able to return on Day 6?  Students/staff members returning on Day 6 will be required to:
Return 24-hour fever free without the use of fever reducing medication
Any symptoms must be improving
Be required to properly wear a well fitted mask
Not be permitted to ride school transportation to/from school.  Students/staff members involved in educational activities and/or work duties are exempt from transportation limitations.
Students are not permitted to participate in or attend extracurricular activities.
Students/staff members must remain isolated from others during times when masks can not be worn (example–while eating).
Students will not be allowed to participate in activities during classes such as band/choir/PE/Recess in which they can not properly wear a well fitted mask.  Participation in certain activities may occur when possible if the student can be isolated from peers.

How long do these guidelines remain in effect for individuals identified as a positive case?  The above guidelines remain in effect on Days 6-10.  Individuals who are not able to follow the above guidelines will be excluded from school on Days 6-10.

How long will a student/staff member identified as a household close contact be required to be excluded from school/work? A student or staff member identified as a household will be excluded from school/work for 5-days.  This begins with Day 0, which is the first known date of exposure when the positive case was identified as being positive.  Typically in most situations,the household contact and the positive case will have the same Day 0.

When is the student/staff member identified as a household close contact permitted to return? A student/staff member identified as a household close contact may return to school/work on Day 6, or the first day following Day 6 in the event that Day 6 is on a non-school/work day.  The individual will need to participate in the Test to Stay program on the date of return and test negative. 

What are the guidelines for students/staff members returning to school must follow to be able to return on Day 6 or first date possible following Day 6?
Must participate in the Test-to-Stay program and test negative on the first date back to school/work
Not have any signs/symptoms of COVID-19
Not permitted to ride school transportation to school on the first date back until a negative test is obtained.
If a negative test is obtained then the student/staff member may return to school/work with no limitations or restrictions.
If the student/staff member tests positive then they will begin their required exclusion period as described previously.
Students/staff members choosing not to participate in the Test-to-Stay program on the date of return will need to complete their exclusion from school work through Day 10.

Can a household close contact be exempt from exclusion?  Yes, a student/staff member identified as a household close contact can be exempt from exclusion under the following reasons, so long as they are not showing signs/symptoms of COVID-19.
Be considered fully vaccinated under current regulations
Ages 18 and older—last shot or booster within the last 6 months of being exposed
Ages 17 and younger—Fully vaccinated with last shot being more than 14 days earlier of being exposed
Diagnosed by medical professionals as being positive with COVID-19 in the last 90 days

What are some other important items regarding these changes?
If you believe your child or you as a staff member has been exposed to a positive case either at school or elsewhere, please consider keeping your child home for 5-days after the exposure.
If you believe your child or you as a staff member has been exposed to a positive case either at school or elsewhere, please consider having your child or you as a staff member tested 5-days following the exposure or immediately if signs/symptoms appear..  Continue to monitor your child or yourself as a staff member for symptoms for COVID-19 for 10-days after the believed exposure.
If your child or you as a staff member is symptomatic, have a diagnostic COVID-19 test conducted. Do not send your child to school if they are sick or if they test positive.  As a staff member, please do not attend work if you are sick and or test positive.
Notify the school if your child or you as a staff member has tested positive for COVID.
If your child or you as a staff member has tested positive, please inform others who may have been exposed.
Remember, the school WILL NOT be directly informing others if they have been exposed to a positive case while at school or while participating in school events and activities.
If a student/staff member is fully vaccinated but has a positive test result, the individual is considered positive and is to complete the exclusion requirements before returning to school/work.

If you have any questions regarding these changes to the school contact tracing protocols, please contact {Bill Clark, USD 330 Superintendent} {866-557-6686 or bclark@mv330.org}. To learn more about guidance associated with these changes, please visit: Education K-12 | KDHE COVID-19.

Thank you for your continued support of USD 330 Mission Valley.  We will continue to keep you informed as guidance changes are determined.

Respectfully,

William J. Clark

William J. Clark
USD 330 Mission Valley
Superintendent/Director of Special Services

EXCLUSION SCENARIO for Positive Cases
{Day 0}--Jan. 19th (date of + test, or onset of symptom date)
{Day 1}--Jan. 20th (excluded from school/work)
{Day 2}--Jan. 21st (excluded from school/work)
{Day 3}--Jan. 22nd (no school/work–excluded from activities)
{Day 4}--Jan. 23rd (no school/work–excluded from activities)
{Day 5}--Jan. 24th (excluded from school/work}
{Day 6}--Jan. 25th (return to school/work following guidelines)
{Day 7}--Jan. 25th (return to school/work following guidelines)
{Day 8}--Jan. 25th (return to school/work following guidelines)
{Day 9}--Jan. 25th (return to school/work following guidelines)
{Day 10}--Jan. 25th (return to school/work following guidelines)
{Day 11}--Jan. 26th (return to school/work w/ no limitations)

EXCLUSION SCENARIO for Household Contact
{Day 0}--Jan. 19th (first date of exposure to known positive case)
{Day 1}--Jan. 20th (excluded from school/work)
{Day 2}--Jan. 21st (excluded from school/work)
{Day 3}--Jan. 22nd (no school/work–excluded from activities)
{Day 4}--Jan. 23rd (no school/work–excluded from activities)
{Day 5}--Jan. 24th (excluded from school/work}
{Day 6}--Jan. 25th (return to school/work after testing negative)
(follow guidelines described)