Monday message 01.10.2022

Over the last several days, we have received new direction from the State of California and from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. This communication is intended to summarize several new options, recommendations, and requirements.

Free At-Home Testing Options
The State of California has publicly declared that they are making at-home testing kits available for every learner who is interested in accessing this resource. We were able to pick up these kits from the Los Angeles County Office of Education last week.

On Monday, January 10th, families will be able to drive through our site and pick up an at-home rapid antigen test for each learner between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. The drive-through pickup will take place in the valet learner dropoff area behind the Upper School. Please note that no one is required to pick up and/or use these at-home tests. However, we are strongly encouraging all staff and learners to test before returning to the site to ensure everyone’s safety.

If you are unable to pick up a test on Monday, tests will be available Tuesday morning before school in the nurse’s office, if you choose this option.

As always, learners who test positive, who have been in close contact with a positive case, or who develop symptoms should remain at home and contact their school site.

Isolation and Quarantine Requirements
The LA County Public Health Order was revised on January 5. The order makes changes to Isolation requirements (for those testing positive) and Quarantine requirements (for those who are close contacts with known positives). In certain circumstances, the period of Isolation or Quarantine can be reduced from 10 days to 5 days. However, additional testing requirements have been added.

Isolation
If you have COVID-19, you must self-isolate regardless of vaccination status, previous infection, or lack of symptoms. Everyone with COVID-19 must isolate for at least 5 days. How long you have to isolate depends on whether you have symptoms and if you get a negative follow-up viral test on day 5 or later. For more information on LACDPH isolation requirements, go HERE.

Quarantine
Los Angeles County’s quarantine rule states that vaccinated students who are close contacts can remain in class during the period of their quarantine as long as they are asymptomatic and test negative for COVID on Day 5. Unvaccinated students must remain at home during the period of their quarantine. If your learner is a close contact and you are interested in returning earlier than 10 days, please see the COVID-19 management plan on our website for other options. The revised health order now requires all quarantined students to be tested following exposure to remain on site. For more information on LACDPH quarantine requirements, go HERE.

Recommendations for Types of Masks Worn by Learners
The revised Public Health Order strongly recommends that learners opt to wear well-fitting masks that are made of “multiple layers of non-woven material with a nose wire.” In other words, the County is discouraging students from wearing cloth masks. Instead, they are recommending surgical masks (think disposable doctors’ paper face masks) or higher-level personal protective equipment. For more information on LACDPH masking recommendations for learners, go HERE.

Outdoor Masking Requirements
The revised Public Health Order now requires masking outdoors “where physical distancing is not feasible, except while eating or drinking.” We will be designating a space on the playground area for students to take off their masks and still remain socially distant. For more information on LACDPH outdoor masking requirements, go HERE.

We know this is a difficult situation and the guidance we receive from officials is evolving on a regular basis; we’re thankful for your patience and understanding as we implement these new requirements from the state and county. We hope you know that our entire team is fully committed to the health and safety of our learners and staff.

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