With COVID-19 cases down and restrictions being lifted, the Orono school district has updated its health and safety guidelines for summer programming and childcare.

The updated guidelines are based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and the Minnesota Department of Health, the district said in a release.

The district announced for summer 2021, as regulations and executive orders expire with changes in the pandemic, they will implement fewer regulations and requirements, and rely on more personal/family choice and responsibility.

The following guidelines outline important practices and protocols to help ensure a safe and healthy learning environment while mitigating transmission of COVID-19.

All participants in Orono schools summer programming or child care are requested to complete a health check at home and students and staff who are sick should not attend in-person school. The district asks that before boarding a school bus, entering a school or attending an Orono Schools summer program, every student, staff and family is strongly encouraged to: regularly review the COVID-19 operational plan and take responsibility to follow its requirements; complete a daily at-home, self-screening of you and your child(ren). Screening will not be done when students arrive for in-person learning each day, as to avoid congregation and congestion, use this screening tool. Everyone should stay home and isolate themselves if they are sick.

The district will use the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 decision tree as guidance to help determine protocol and next steps related to monitoring, quarantining and notification.

Anyone exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the above decision tree, stay home and are strongly recommended to get tested. Find a testing site near you by visiting MDH website. However, if a person has had lab-confirmed COVID-19 in the past 90 days and is experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, retesting is not recommended. The person should remain home until symptoms have improved and they have been fever free for 24 hours.

If you are participating in any district summer programming, including Community Education or extra curricular activities, and receive a positive COVID-19 test, notify your program coordinator, coach or teacher. Isolate at home for a minimum of 10 days (vaccinated and unvaccinated). Quarantine at home for a minimum of 10 days (recommendation is 14) if you are a household member to a positive case. Program/class participants and their families will be notified of a positive case with a general notification letter when a case is reported.

Illnesses that occur during Orono schools programs -If a student or staff member develops symptoms of illness while onsite, the following procedures will be followed: Parents and/or emergency contacts will be called and asked to pick-up their child immediately. The ill student or staff member will be isolated while they wait to be picked up or until they are able to leave the facility on their own. The school nurse and other health staff should use standard and transmission-based precautions when caring for any sick people. After the ill student or staff member leaves the facility, staff will disinfect areas where the staff or student was present.

After the expiration of MDE Safe Learning Plan on June 9, 2021, Orono Schools will not require masks to be worn during summer programming, whether indoor or outdoor, or during after-school and other co-curricular activities but per the federal order from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all staff and students riding in district-provided transportation vehicles and buses — to and from instructional summer programming only — are required to wear a mask.

There is no longer a statewide requirement to wear face coverings in most settings. However, face covering requirements for child care settings remain in effect through June 30, 2021 or until 70 percent of Minnesotans aged 16 and older receive at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, whichever is earlier. Facial coverings should not be placed on anyone under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing or is unconscious, anyone who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the face covering without assistance, or anyone who cannot tolerate a face covering due to a developmental, medical, or behavioral health condition. Personal protective equipment such as disposable masks will also be available to both staff, students and visitors if desired.

All persons in the building and on district transportation must do their best to provide as much space as possible between themselves and other people. Please note: The baseline guideline for quarantine consideration is if you have been in close contact (within 6 feet for greater than 15 minutes, with or without a face covering) with anyone who has been instructed to isolate due to a positive test (you will be provided education on how to self-quarantine). Floor markings have been placed at building entrances, service counters and throughout the school to indicate where people should stand and provide directional flow and spacing for social distancing.

Curbside student pick up and drop off will be available. Should parents need to pick up their child prior to school dismissal, the parent should call the office when arriving to notify the school they are present and staff will bring the student to and from the entrance or vehicle.

If you have questions about anything in this Summer 2021 Health and Safety Guidance, talk with your principal first. If you have further questions, contact: Janet Franzen, District and Licensed School Nurse, PHN; Dr. Kristine Flesher, Director of Special Services; Tiffany Clifton, Director of Community Education; Dr. Scott Alger, Director of Human Resources; Lyssa Campbell, Director of Communications; Ross Luken, Coordinator of Facilities and Safety.

A physical copy of the plan is available at every building in the front office. All staff, students, families and visitors are expected to comply with and follow the established guidelines and protocols in this plan for the health and safety of our community. Site leaders and supervisors are expected to ensure compliance with these provisions and support employees as needed.

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