Dear Methow Valley Students, Parents and Community Members,
On behalf of our school board and staff, I hope you enjoyed a safe, relaxing, and memorable Thanksgiving holiday.
As stated prior to the break, we are grateful for our ability to safely reopen our schools and remain open – offering continuous in-person instruction, learning pods, clubs, remote learning, and home schooling options throughout this fall. It has been a herculean effort on the part of all in support of the physical, social-emotional, and academic health and wellness of our students.
We can’t do it alone. We can do it together!
As we continue our journey, now faced with the epic challenge of navigating the cold/flu and holiday season, we need your support more than ever. Early on, in anticipation of this difficult period of time, we stated that it’s not a matter of “if,” but “when” we experience our first positive COVID cases involving students, parents, staff, and community members.
In support of our collective efforts, we’ve put together an FAQ (list of frequently asked questions) intended to help you understand the process and your role in supporting the health and wellness of our schools and community.
Superintendent, Methow Valley School District
Q: I’m hearing rumors that COVID cases in the county are increasing. Is this true?
A: Yes, this is true. As predicted, the number of cases has increased within the county during the past few weeks. Public health officials fear this trend will continue as people travel and gather during the cold/flu and holiday season.
Q: What will happen if there is a suspected case involving a student, parent or staff member?
A: The school nurse and administrative staff will work closely with the County Health Department to investigate each case and determine the appropriate course of action.
Q: What can I expect if my student, another student in my child’s class, and/or a staff member tests positive for COVID?
A: If your student, another student, or staff member in your child’s class has been diagnosed with COVID-19, you can be assured that the case will be reviewed by the school nurse, public health officials, and the student/staff member’s Primary Care Provider. As part of this public health investigation:
- The person diagnosed will be required to stay at home from school/work until they are no longer infectious.
- The people who are identified as “close contacts” of the person diagnosed with COVID-19 will be instructed to stay home from school/work for 14 days after the exposure. This is called “quarantine.”
Q: If it’s determined that my student may have been exposed due to close contact with an infected individual, will the school notify me?
A: Yes. The school will notify parents if it’s determined that their student may have been in close contact and exposed to COVID-19.
Q: If my student has been exposed, will my student be required to quarantine and/or be tested?
A: If it is determined that your student was in close contact with the infected individual, they will be asked to quarantine for 14 days, monitor symptoms, and encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.
Q: What if a student in my child’s class tests positive for COVID but my child wasn’t considered to be a close contact?
A: If it’s determined that your student was not in close contact with the infected person, you will be notified that we do not believe your child was in close contact with anyone with COVID-19. Thus, your child does not need to quarantine, but you should regularly monitor your child for symptoms of COVID-19.
Q: I’ve been told that exposure is associated with “close contact” involving an individual who has tested positive. If this is so, how do we define close contact?
A: Close contact is defined as being within 6 feet of a person infected with COVID-19 for a cumulative of 15 minutes. Additional factors that influence whether or not an individual has been in close contact with an infected individual may include:
- Was the individual wearing a mask when in close proximity with the infected person?
- Where did the contact take place? Outdoors? Indoors? In a well-ventilated space?
- Is regular hand washing happening?
Q: Will the names of infected individuals be released?
A: No. Individually identifiable names will not be released by the school.
Q: With the number of cases increasing across our nation, state, and within our county, how can I prevent my student, my family, and others from being exposed?
A: Assume every person is infected with COVID-19. Complete your student’s daily health screening (including a temperature check), wear a mask, avoid close contact (maintain six feet of separation), avoid poorly ventilated spaces, and wash your hands frequently.
Q: If I have further questions, whom should I contact?
A: Please contact Adriana, Vanbianchi, MVSD School Nurse at: firstname.lastname@example.org or text her at: (509) 703-6617 and/or contact your family’s medical provider.