Dear Watertown Families,
It’s easy to feel the excitement and anticipation for a much deserved break! As Spring break quickly approaches, please note the important guidance below. Thank you for your continued patience, support, and partnership in keeping our schools and community moving forward.
This email includes:
April Break Travel Guidance
Adjusted Quarantine Times for Close Contacts
Alison Villanueva, Ph.D.
Superintendent of Schools
Special Education and Nursing Supervisor
On behalf of the entire nursing team at WPS
Sarah Simmons, RN
Judson Elementary School
SPRING BREAK TRAVEL GUIDANCE
*Fully vaccinated: A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the last recommended dose of vaccine.
If you are fully vaccinated* and you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel. If traveling internationally follow any current CDC recommendations.
Individuals or families planning overnight out-of-state travel in the coming weeks, and even those planning only in-state or regional day-trips, have the potential to return home with unrecognized SARS-CoV-2 infection. This is especially true where travel involves states with fewer restrictions and safety measures in place, where compliance with masking and other mitigation strategies may be low, and where more contagious virus variants may be widely circulating. Of particular concern for families with members who either attend or work at K-12 schools and students and school staff returning from travel and subsequently reporting to school during their infectious period, could significantly impact the continuing operation of schools for in-person learning in the weeks following spring breaks.
The responsibility lies with individuals and families to take the steps necessary to protect themselves, their school communities, and others before, during, and after travel, as it would not be reasonable to expect schools to investigate or enforce recommendations related to private activities. Both the CDC and DPH continue to recommend against out-of-state travel during this time.
TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS FOR FAMILIES:
Continue to utilize all appropriate mitigation strategies while traveling (including mask wearing, distancing, symptom recognition, etc.) regardless of whether the policies and procedures in place at your destination mandate them.
Before travel, review the current DPH and CDC recommendations for travel during COVID-19 and be sure to plan sufficient time for any necessary actions.
Follow DPH and CDC best-practice quarantine and testing procedures upon return, including: – quarantining for a full 7 days, even with a negative COVID-19 test result obtained between days 3-5; OR – quarantining for a full 10 days without testing; AND – continuing to monitor for symptoms during all quarantine periods.
Individuals or families choosing not to observe quarantine are encouraged to, at a minimum:
get your child tested for COVID-19 (antigen or molecular) after you return to Connecticut;
stay out of school until you receive a negative test result for your child and update the school nurse of testing results
be acutely and continuously aware of any symptoms of COVID-19 that your child may develop in the two weeks after travel; and be prepared to immediately isolate/quarantine if/when symptoms develop
STUDENTS WILL BE EXPECTED TO PARTICIPATE IN REMOTE LEARNING OPTION, WHILE FOLLOWING ANY OF THE ABOVE RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING QUARANTINING AFTER TRAVEL.
ADJUSTED QUARANTINE TIMES FOR CLOSE CONTACTS
Students who are considered CLOSE CONTACTS may now choose to complete a 7 day quarantine with a negative test vs. a 10 day quarantine. Please click here for the scenario that relates to your child’s current situation. If you are unsure or have questions, please contact your child’s school nurse. Thank you.
CLOSE CONTACT AND NOT FULLY VACCINATED
A close contact may return to school after day 7 and after receiving a negative test result (test must occur on day 5 or later) or after day 10 without testing. Students can only return to school after day 7 and AFTER the school nurse reviews and approves the negative test results as valid. Please share test results with the school nurse and wait for confirmation that your child has been cleared to return in person to school.
FULLY VACCINATED* INDIVIDUALS EXEMPT FROM QUARANTINE
A close contact who is fully vaccinated * should self-monitor for symptoms until 14 days after exposure. If symptoms develop, self-isolate and contact their healthcare provider, continue to take steps to reduce the spread of infection.