I know we all have pandemic weariness, but I’m asking you to read this message because it contains important information and a request for your partnership.
Because virus activity in our community is increasing, more students are coming to school with COVID-like symptoms and then later testing positive, which sets a state-directed quarantine process in motion. This is a particular concern at the secondary level because students have multiple classes and interact with many different classmates throughout the day. Recently, just one positive case resulted in the quarantine of more than 200 students at Maple Grove Middle School.
As long as there is virus activity in the community, quarantines will be part of the school experience. However, there are ways to minimize them. Here’s how you can help:
- Do a daily health check before sending your child to school.
- Keep your children home if they have any symptoms, and report their symptoms to school.
- Regularly get tested for COVID and report positive results to school.
- Get vaccinated (age 16+).
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommends a 14-day quarantine for the greatest protection against spreading the virus. Because our in-person learning model cannot ensure social distancing of six feet or more, a shorter quarantine period is not currently an option.
Osseo Area Schools follows MDH guidance in all areas of response, which means when a quarantine is needed, it will be for the full 14 days recommended by MDH.
- A negative COVID-19 test will not allow a student to return from a close contact quarantine early.
- If your student has recovered from COVID-19 within the last 90 days or has been fully vaccinated (14 days after final dose in series) please contact the COVID response team member who contacted you regarding the quarantine.
If you receive a quarantine letter from the school district, please know that all of the pertinent information that we are able to share will be included. Additional information about the exposure cannot be shared because of data privacy requirements.
During a pandemic, we all need a little grace
I know quarantines are stressful for your children and for you as parents/caregivers. At the same time, I need to request that you choose to be respectful in your interactions with school staff who are implementing state guidance.
Please remember that real human beings--parents and community members just like you--are at the receiving end of your phone calls and emails. Swearing and other disrespectful behaviors will not change state-defined quarantine periods. Thank you in advance for treating our staff with respect even in frustrating circumstances. On a related note, we are assigning additional staff to help the COVID response team provide responses to your questions as they are received and as information is available.
For questions related to the COVID-19 pandemic (especially regarding quarantines), please call the MDH hotline (1-833-431-2053) from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday or 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday.
Thank you for your understanding and support during these unusually challenging times.