Jamie Gerken, Health Commissioner of the Defiance County General Health District, plus Superintendents, Keith Countryman, Hicksville; Robert Morton, Challenge; Steve Arnold, Central Local; Beth Hench, Ayersville; Nicole Wells, Northeast Local; Timothy Bower, Good Samaritan; and Kerri Weir, of the Northwest Ohio Educational Service Center, announced updated quarantine guidelines for students following updates from the Ohio Department of Health.
Here is a statement from all parties:
“Quarantining students at home who have been exposed to COVID-19 in a school environment has the unintended consequence of reducing learning in school and can be an additional strain on parents, schools and services local health.
“While vaccination and mask use are essential elements in ensuring a safe school environment, we will also provide a school-based alternative to quarantine students and school staff at home who have been exposed to COVID. -19 in a school environment to support the school. learning and reduce tension.
“Since the start of the 2021-2022 school year, hundreds of students in Defiance County have been quarantined due to classroom exposure. Being out of the classroom has a significant impact on the mental health of students. students, the ability of educators to teach, and the financial stability of gatekeepers.
“To ensure student safety, open schools and united communities, school district and health officials aim to improve the strategy for living with COVID-19. The Ohio Department of Health, Defiance County School Districts and Defiance County Department of Health agree this change in quarantine procedures allows students, staff and families to demonstrate flexibility to make life with COVID more manageable, while protecting others.
“Please Note: Eligibility to participate in the mask to stay / test to play depends on exposure within the school setting or school related activities. This does not apply to home exhibitions or exhibitions outside of the school. school setting or school-related activities.
“Families will now have the following options:
“1. School attendance,“ Mask to stay ”: for students identified as school contacts with a person who is HIV-positive to COVID-19, families must meet all of the following conditions in order to stay in school:
“a. A student can attend school during their quarantine (14 day quarantine as long as they have remained asymptomatic) if they are wearing a mask correctly.
“B. Close contacts should watch for symptoms vigilantly daily.
“c. A student should self-isolate and get tested if they begin to experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 (regardless of the severity of the symptoms).
“d. A student can test for COVID-19 on days 5-7, and if the student receives a negative test result, he / she can be released from quarantine after the seventh day.
“2. Extracurricular activities,“ Test to Play ”: for students identified as school contacts with an individual positive for COVID-19, families must meet all of the following conditions in order to participate in extracurricular activities:
“a. The student must have a negative test result on the first day after verification of the exhibition. In addition, he is required to wear a mask when not actively participating in the event.
“B. A student is to be tested for COVID-19 on days 5-7. If the result is negative, the student can be released from quarantine after the seventh day.
“If the student identified as a close contact has been vaccinated, or wore a mask during contact with the positive student, the student identified as a contact will not have to quarantine or miss extracurricular activities, but it is recommended to wear a mask and watch for symptoms.
● Regardless of the quarantine status, any student who tests positive for COVID-19 or exhibits symptoms will be required to stay home.
● Quarantined students should stay home when not in school and should wear a mask in all indoor environments.
“COVID-19 is still circulating in Defiance County, and measures to slow the spread of the disease remain important. School and health officials continue to urge community members to consider getting vaccinated, wearing a mask indoors with people outside their homes, washing their hands frequently, stay home when they are sick and keep sick children at home as far away from school.
“Full details on this quarantine protocol can be found on the county health department and schools websites and / or on social media.
“A collaborative effort to prioritize a safe learning environment for students and staff, while keeping students in school as much as possible, is essential for families to move forward. This new quarantine protocol helps schools achieve this collective goal.
“Note: this plan is subject to change. “