A Message from Superintendent David Haglund: Return to School and Updated Health and Safety Protocols

A Message from Superintendent David Haglund, Ed.D.

 

January 8, 2022

 

Dear PUSD Families,

 

Thank you for your continued support as we move forward toward our first day back to school in 2022. If you haven’t picked up your at-home test kits yet, you may still do so. As a reminder, testing for all students is STRONGLY recommended before returning to campus.

 

As you may have heard, there are a number of changes to isolation, quarantine, and masking guidance from the CDC. The California Department of Public Health, Alameda County Public Health Department, and PUSD Pandemic Services are in the process of implementing updates to the COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Please expect further updates as this is a fluid situation, but we wanted to provide you with key information as your students return to school.

 

IF YOUR STUDENT IS SICK OR HAS ANY SYMPTOMS OF ILLNESS

During this Omicron surge, our procedures for ruling out COVID-19 have changed. TWO supervised negative rapid antigen tests are now required, taken at least 48 hours apart. We expect that this protocol will change again in the future when we have less COVID circulating in our community.

  • Call your school’s absence line to report your student’s symptoms and absence, including the date that symptoms began. 
  • Fill out this symptoms report to receive instructions quickly.
  • Get them tested for COVID-19 (see below for testing resources):
    • Test as soon as you can after symptoms begin.
    • If that test is negative, continue to isolate at home. Re-test in 2-3 days.
    • TWO supervised negative rapid antigen tests are required to return to school.

 

IF YOUR STUDENT TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID-19 (on any type of test, including home tests):

  • Fill out this positive case reporting form to receive isolation instructions quickly. The day symptoms started is Day 0. If your student did not have any symptoms, the day of the positive test is Day 0.
  • Isolation instructions and dates will be sent via email. Please be patient as the Pandemic Services team responds to an unprecedented number of positive case reports.
  • KEEP YOUR STUDENT HOME until their isolation period has ended.
  • At this time, the isolation period for students is 10 days from symptom onset or positive test. If this changes, we will communicate to anyone currently on isolation protocols.

FREE RAPID ANTIGEN TESTING

The Pandemic Services team offers free, drive-through rapid antigen testing for PUSD students at the PUSD Testing Center. View current hours and directions here


MASKING RECOMMENDATIONS

It’s time to improve your masking game! During this time of higher transmission rates in our community, public health experts recommend wearing well-fitting, high quality masks.

Know which Masks Provide the Best Protection Against COVID-19:

Most Effective

More Effective

Effective

Least Effective

  • N95 (also best for wildfire smoke)
  • KF94
  • KN95
  • Double Mask
  • Fitted Surgical Mask
  • Surgical Mask
  • Fabric mask with three or more cloth layers

NOTE: NO VALVED MASKS OR GAITERS ARE PERMITTED.

 

No matter what kind of mask you wear, check the fit and eliminate gaps above the nose or on the sides. Gaps will significantly reduce the effectiveness of any mask.

Review “Get the Most out of Masking” from the California Department of Public Health for more recommendations.


An effective mask has both good fit and good filtration. A well-fitted mask has no gaps between the face and mask, such as above the nose or at the sides. With gaps, air that has virus particles can easily leak in or out around the sides of the mask. 

 

CLOSE CONTACT QUARANTINE PROTOCOLS

At this time, quarantine protocols are not changing for PUSD students or staff. If a positive case is identified on campus, contact tracing is conducted and close contacts are notified by the PUSD Pandemic Services team.

 

If you are not required to quarantine due to vaccination status, but you are aware that you have been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should exercise caution, test frequently, and wear a well-fitting mask around others for 10 days after exposure. Any updates to quarantine procedures will be announced as soon as they become available.

 

VACCINES AND BOOSTERS

The CDC recommends booster shots for all people 12 and up. You are eligible for a booster 5 months after receiving your second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, 6 months after the second dose of Moderna, or 2 months after J&J. Vaccines are recommended for all people age 5 and up. See this update for more information on PUSD vaccine clinics (supply is limited, sign up now!).

 

At this time, information is changing rapidly and guidance is reviewed accordingly. As we navigate Omicron, we will be providing updated information as soon as possible. We will be holding an evening webinar for all PUSD families on a date to be announced soon. The Pandemic Services Team is supporting the smooth return to school of our students and staff, and they ask for patience at this time when asking individual questions over email. 

 

I am grateful for your support and consideration as we move forward in welcoming everyone back to campus this coming week.

 

Sincerely,

 

David Haglund

Superintendent of Schools