• WHAT IS CLOSE CONTACT?

    Close contact means being within 6 feet, for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, of someone with COVID-19 during their infectious period.

    When someone tests positive for COVID-19, the school will act in partnership with the Department of Health to identify any close contacts of the individual to help keep COVID-19 from spreading. The school will then call the close contacts and give them guidance to stay home and away from others for a certain amount of time. It is important to answer any call from the school.

    The infectious period is when the person with COVID-19 is contagious. It starts two days before symptoms began and continues until they are recovered. For people who haven't had symptoms, the infectious period starts two days before they had a positive test.

     

    Close contact does not mean being more than 6 feet away in the same indoor environment for a short period of time, walking by, or briefly being in the same room.

    From Vermont Department of Health

     

    If you are a close contact or think you had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, immediately begin following the testing and quarantine guidance below. You may find out that you are a close contact from the person who tested positive, the Health Department (a text message from 89361 or a phone call), your employer, your college, your child’s school, your health care provider, or another place you went to recently.

     

    DO I NEED TO GET TESTED?

    If you are unvaccinated:

    • The Health Department recommends that you get tested twice – as soon as two days after you were exposed to the person with COVID-19, and again seven days after the exposure.
    • If your first test is negative, remain in quarantine and follow the quarantine guidance below. If it is positive, begin isolation immediately.
    • Stay at home and away from other people while you wait for your test results – especially anyone who is unvaccinated, at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or lives with someone who is at increased risk.

    If you are unvaccinated and have recovered from COVID-19 within the past three months:

    • Testing is not recommended if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19.
    • If you do have symptoms, talk to your health care provider for next steps.

    If you are fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms of COVID-19:

    • You are well protected from COVID-19 once you are fully vaccinated. Consider getting tested 3 to 5 days after you were exposed to someone with COVID-19.

    If you are fully vaccinated and you have symptoms of COVID-19:

    • If you develop any symptoms within 14 days of being exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should get tested. COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective, but occasionally people who are fully vaccinated can get COVID-19. Most often your symptoms will be mild. Being vaccinated protects you from severe illness, hospitalization and death.
    • Stay at home and away from other people while you wait for your test results – especially anyone who is unvaccinated, at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, or lives with someone who is at increased risk.

    From Vermont Department of Health

     

    DO I NEED TO QUARANTINE?

    Close contacts will need to quarantine (see exceptions below). Quarantine means staying home and away from others for 14 days. Your quarantine period starts on day 0, which was the last day you were in close contact with the person who tested positive.

    You do not need to quarantine if you do not have symptoms of COVID-19, and:

    • you are fully vaccinated, unless you are an inpatient or resident in a health care setting, or
    • you have recovered from COVID-19 within the past three months, or
    • you had close contact with someone who is a close contact (for example, you live with someone or take care of someone who is in quarantine).

    From Vermont Department of Health   

    See this page on our site with FAQs about Quarantine

     

    CAN A STUDENT CONTINUE TO ATTEND SCHOOL IF THEIR SIBLING IS IDENTIFIED AS A CLOSE CONTACT AND UNDER QUARANTINE?

    When a student is identified as a close contact, but not positive themselves, siblings are still allowed to attend school if the person (parent or child) who is a close contact is able to quarantine from the rest of the family. If families are unable to keep the close-contact parent or child quarantined from all other family members, they must keep their other students at home. Each family system and setup is unique in terms of how and when they interact in their home, so it’s not a one-size-fits-all answer. This can also vary greatly depending on the age and developmental stage of the student. 

    If you decide to keep siblings home, please be sure to notify their teacher.

     

    MY CHILD WAS IDENTIFIED AS A CLOSE CONTACT ON A BUS. IT’S A SHORT BUS RIDE, HOW CAN THEY BE A CLOSE CONTACT? 

    We use the same definition of close contact for the bus as we do in the school building. Close contact means being within 6 feet, for a total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, of someone with COVID-19 during their infectious period.

     

    CLOSE CONTACTS ON THE BUS

    If a student tests positive for COVID who rode the bus, that does NOT mean that all students who rode the bus are automatically close contacts. We are required to identify students in 8 adjacent bus benches as close contacts of the person who tested positive, including the bus bench of the person who tested positive. Those sitting two benches in front, two behind, and across the aisle from the person who tested positive, plus one bench in front and one behind the bench across the aisle will be considered close contacts. We will also factor in the length of the bus ride when determining close contacts. For now, we are asking families who are within walking or riding distance to school, to encourage your child(ren) to walk / ride rather than take the school bus.  Similarly, if your family schedule allows you to deliver your child by personal vehicle, we encourage you to do so at this time of elevated positive cases.  This will result in greater spacing between students on the bus.