We have two important announcements to share with families, staff and the community.
1. A decision will be made and communicated Tuesday, November 24, as to whether CRCSD will file for another 14-day waiver from the Iowa Department of Education. The following CRCSD parameters and state guidelines outline the decision-making process. Note that waivers can only be filed within 14-day increments. If a waiver is filed, it will cover the time period of November 30 - December 14. Also, note that the waiver would apply to district-wide remote learning, and not on an individual school basis.
- If there is a community positivity rate of 20% or greater, CRCSD will file for an extended waiver.
- CRCSD will consult with Linn County Public Health to determine if the healthcare infrastructure is at capacity. This will be one of the deciding factors.
- Since CRCSD needs healthy adults to conduct all elements of school programming (teachers, bus drivers, school meal employees, crossing guards), potential staff shortages will be a significant factor in the decision making process.
The message here is that we need to monitor what is happening in the adult community and apply the decision-making process to the school children. We need community support to stop the virus spread and bring our students back to in-person learning.
2. CRCSD will follow Linn County Public Health’s guidance regarding “close contact” definition, as it aligns with CDC recommendations. On November 12, Linn County Public Health (LCPH) released updated guidance for contact tracing and quarantine related to the definition of “close contact.” Throughout the pandemic, CRCSD has worked closely with LCPH and will continue this partnership within our specific county. While this updated local county guidance is a departure from the Iowa Department of Public Health, LCPH is aligning their guidance with CDC recommendations in order to mitigate the current high rate of Linn County community spread.
- Close contact is defined by CDC, and subsequently LCPH, as: Being within 6 feet of someone who has COVID-19 for a total of 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period, starting from 2 days before illness onset or testing.*
- Living in the same household as a COVID-19 positive person
- Direct physical contact with a COVID-19 positive person (hugged or kissed them)
- Exposure to respiratory droplets from a COVID-19 positive person (sneezed on, coughed on, etc.)
*Even if you had a mask on. Please note this is the significant differentiator between CDC/LCPH and Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines.
Based on the modified definition, we anticipate there will be increased quarantine situations as it relates to classrooms and staffing. This could hasten our ability to conduct in-person learning. We will constantly monitor the impact of this new definition and keep you updated.
“With these two guidelines announced here, it just solidifies the message further - wear a mask, social distance, and limit your encounters with others in the community,” said Superintendent Noreen Bush. “If we want our school children back to in-person learning, then the adult community must do its part.”