With rising COVID-19 numbers in local schools, protocols continue to be put at the forefront in order to protect students on campus.
Schools are continuing to take safety measures to prepare for possible COVID-19 cases, with a plan in place to make sure students can stay in the classroom.
“We’re very serious about our mitigation efforts, masking washing hands, ventilation in our classrooms,” said San Luis Coastal Unified School District Assistant Superintendent of Education Services, Diane Frost.
“We start the day at 7 in the morning with rapid COVID-19 testing for any of our students or staff,” said Superintendent of Orcutt Unified School District, Dr. Holly Edds.
School districts across the Central Coast continue to follow the guidelines of the local health departments, while also having a plan in case of a potential outbreak.
“For a student who is feeling ill, our teachers know to send them down to our offices and then we determine if they need to go home,” said Frost. “Public health also guides us in that they have a list of symptoms that we are looking for that should send a child home.”
“Our principals and our site administrators really shift to contract tracing mode where they are talking to the classroom teacher or talking to other students to determine if that student was in close contact with another student,” said Edds.
Orcutt Union School District has had its battles with COVID-19, reporting 191 cases leading up to winter break.
“We are surpassed and doubled that number the first week we were back,” said Edds.
Recent numbers have shown signs of improvement based on preparation and actively seeking out potential cases early on campus.
“If it is a symptom is associated with COVID-19, then the parent will pick the student up,” said Edds. “If they’re identified as a close contact and both parties were fully vaccinated, they can continue to come to school on a modified quarantine as long as they are tested twice during that period.”
At San Luis Coastal Unified School District, when a student is sent home from class, the district says they ensure they will continue their coursework.
“We do offer independent study short term for our kids who out COVID-19 positive or are quarantining,” said Frost.
The goal is to have students healthy and in class.
“Our entire focus is making sure that our healthy kids are in the classroom,” said Frost.
San Luis Obispo High School has roughly a two percent rate of COVID-19 positives as of Friday.
Part of what is helping is the antigen testing clinics provided by the district.
The numbers at schools across the area are fluctuating place to place, with Arroyo Grande High at 10 percent of current positives among students and staff.
Lucia Mar School District said in a statement:
The district is now moving to the "group tracing approach" and will no longer be implementing student quarantines for close contacts at school.
Below outlines the actions due to an exposure in the classroom:
The district notifies students who spent more than a cumulative total of 15 minutes (within a 24-hour time period) in a shared indoor airspace (e.G., classroom) with the positive individual during their period of infectiousness (two days prior to symptom onset date or if no symptoms, two days prior to test date).
Exposed students, regardless of COVID-19 vaccination status or prior infection, should get tested for COVID-19 with at least one diagnostic test obtained within 3-5 days after last exposure.