1. Will facemasks have to be worn?
Facemasks are optional in West Hartford Public Schools beginning Monday, February 28, 2022, although mask-wearing is still recommended as an additional layer of protection. There are cases where masks are still required. It is still mandatory to wear a mask from day 6-10 when returning to school after a positive Covid case. If an ill student is in the health room waiting to be dismissed they will need to wear a mask until picked up. While masks on public transportation are no longer mandated, masks are still encouraged as an additional level of protection. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has online resources on the correct use and cleaning of masks here.
2. What are the guidelines for buses?
While masks on public transportation are no longer mandated, masks are still encouraged as an additional level of protection. Student transportation is one of the more challenging aspects of the return to school plan. For some children, the only way that they can get to school is by riding the bus. For others, it is a matter of convenience. Buses will be cleaned and wiped down on a regular basis. DPH continues to recommend running buses with open windows to increase ventilation when possible.
3. What are the procedures if my child or someone in my household is ill?
It’s very important that we all take care of each other as we are one community. A large part of this is keeping your children home if they are sick or if anyone in your household is sick. Parents should follow the TEST-MASK-G0 guidance when making a decision about sending a student to school.
This strategy allows student with mild respiratory symptoms to attend school under certain conditions:
they are fever-free (< 100°F) and feel well enough to participate,
they do not live with anyone who has had COVID-19 in the past 2 weeks,
they can wear a mask consistently and correctly (if facility operators require them to do so), and
they test negative for COVID-19 prior to reporting in-person on every day they have symptoms, as well as one final test on the morning their symptoms have completely resolved.
Individuals who have any respiratory disease symptoms should not use the Test-Mask-Go strategy if:
- they have a fever (≥ 100°F) or feel feverish (they should not report in-person until their fever has resolved for at least 24 hours without the use of medication)
- they live with a person who recently tested positive for COVID-19 (within the past 2 weeks)
4. If my student is a close contact of a positive case, when do they or family members have to quarantine?
If your child is fully vaccinated they do not need to quarantine as long as they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms. CDC strongly recommends that they receive a COVID-19 test within 3-5 days after the last contact and monitor daily for symptoms for at least 14 days from the last contact.
If unvaccinated, your K-12 child will be directed to quarantine for 5 days from the last date of exposure to a positive covid case. They can test on day 5 and if negative and no symptoms can return on day 6 wearing a mask for day 6-10. If you elect not to or can not wear a mask, the quarantine period is 10 days. For either quarantine period continue daily symptom monitoring through day 14 after last exposure. If any symptoms develop you should contact the school and your health provider. The ill or quarantining individual should isolate as much as possible and be masked around other family members to proactively prevent any potential virus spread.
5. Will we be provided the names of any children or staff that are sick?
No. The right to privacy of any individual cannot and will not be compromised. It is also important to explain to our children that anyone can get sick, it is not someone’s fault if they are, and we need to treat them with kindness, not ridicule. We will continue to update student and staff cases on our COVID-19 Dashboard.
6. What if there is an uptick in cases?
The Department of Public Health and the West Hartford/Bloomfield Health District will continue to monitor case prevalence and will make determinations, possibly on a local basis, about a prudent course of action.
7. What about after school activities?
Before/After school activities and sports will proceed normally.
8. What about music concerts and plays?
Our music programs continue to operate under normal conditions. Adjustments will be made as conditions may change.