Dr Noonan's Friday Update - May 14, 2021

Dear FCCPS Families,

It has been an interesting week, to say the least, and today I am writing to ask again for your help!

Unfortunately, Covid is still in our community.

Everything is different than a year ago, but we aren't through this pandemic. Every person in this community: parent, child, resident, visitor, must remain vigilant. FCCPS is dealing with cases in our schools every day. Mitigation practices in school buildings are strong, which is keeping overall cases low. 

Transmission is happening in the community, where it is the responsibility of parents and families to ensure that all are being COVID-safe, however, there is a significant impact on our schools.  Another challenge FCCPS is facing is that parents are sending students with symptoms to school.

How are people getting COVID? Transmissions and exposures are happening on playdates, with babysitters, in basements and family rooms with friends, at parties, and where mitigation procedures are not as strict as they are in school.

Community transmission of COVID is affecting the schools every day. 

Did you know?

  • That in the past 7 days FCCPS and FCHD ran 7 contact investigations 

  • All 7 positive cases were deemed as contracted outside of school

  • In one school 15+ students were sent home before 11:00 a.m. because they were displaying symptoms that they had before they came to school

  • More than 120 students are on “pause” and not able to come to school or attend any extracurricular events or activities

  • The current cases impact 3 schools in FCCPS

  • More than 20 students are in 14-day quarantine across 3 schools

The positive cases, the “paused” students, and those in quarantine make up about 7% of our school population and impact school operations. However, we must remember that 93% are not involved. We do not want to see that 7% increase. 

Parents, we know this is inconvenient, but it is critical and mandatory that FCCPS attendance guidance is followed every time your child goes to school. If your child is throwing up, don't send them to school. If your child has a little cough, keep them home. If your soccer player doesn't feel right, the team will survive without them until they can safely return. 

Even though it seems normal to assume that your child who isn’t feeling well has allergies or a stomach bug, this year we cannot be certain that those diagnoses are correct.

We know that no one wants to be the one to share COVID with the rest of the team, class, and neighborhood. To get through this, we need every family to do their part. Remind your friends as well!

  • It is your responsibility to ensure that your student successfully completes and passes the FCCPS Daily Health Screening. If your student fails to meet any of the symptoms on the sheet, DO NOT send them to school. If you need another copy please download one here

  • Please do not send students to school with COVID symptoms or who are not feeling well. No matter what. Do not send students to school if anyone in the home is being tested for COVID or is COVID positive. 

  • Do not send a student to school who is considered direct exposure to a positive case of COVID. 

  • If you aren’t sure what to do, and how many siblings are affected, call the school and ask to speak with a member of the COVID Response team before you send anyone to school. 

  • Finally, if you are in doubt always choose the conservative approach and keep students and siblings home to help us keep our school community healthy.

If your family is affected by COVID-19 infection, exposure, contact tracing, it can be confusing, these helpful documents will take you through the process. 

FCCPS What to Do When-COVID Response Guide for Parents 

FCCPS Contact Tracing Process

Proceso de seguimiento de contactos de FCCPS

The most important thing parents/guardians can do is to not send your student(s) to school if they are feeling ill; getting tested; or have been exposed. This goes for siblings in the household as well.  DOWNLOAD HEALTH SCREENING FLYER (In English and Spanish)

Student Vaccine Clinic Update:  Thank you to everyone who preregistered their students for the upcoming vaccine pod. More than 750 students are pre-registered to receive the vaccine! Those who signed up to have their student(s) vaccinated will receive a link next week with screening questions and a permission form. We are very excited about this opportunity! If for some reason you did not pre-register, you may still do so by filling out this Vaccine Pod form.  

New CDC Guidance on Masks Indoors: As reported in the news on Thursday, the Director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that those fully vaccinated against COVID-19 do not need to wear masks or practice social distancing indoors or outdoors, except under certain circumstances. Here’s a link to more information. Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People (5/13/21) However, in FCCPS we will require the use of masks inside all facilities through the end of the 2020-21 school year. 

A person’s vaccine status is their personal healthcare information. Therefore, as a division, we don’t know who is or is not fully vaccinated. We do allow anyone who is fully vaccinated to remove their masks outside, based on the previous CDC update around mask wearing for the fully vaccinated We will revisit the practice as we approach the 2021-22 school year.

The vaccines are moving us forward, which is so exciting, but we are not there yet. We need everyone to help us. We are back in school, full-time with almost all of our students. It will stay that way, but we need your support. #bettertogether

Hopefully, everyone will enjoy the wonderful weather expected this weekend!

All my best,

Peter