Dear Norwich Public Schools Families and Staff,
The CT Department of Health DPH and Department of Education CSDE are strongly urging everyone eligible for the COVID vaccine to be vaccinated. As you can see from the chart below, the rates of COVID in Norwich have risen back to the levels seen in our community last February. As soon as the FDA authorizes the COVID vaccine for administration to children under age 12, I will work with UCFS to establish clinics in Norwich.
- The Governor’s executive order requiring masking in schools is still in effect until at least September 30, 2021.
- At this time, masks are not required outdoors.
- Masks are required on all public transportation (including school buses) by the CDC.
- Please stay home when sick, immediately notify your principal of COVID positive or close contact status.
- Governor Lamont has required that all school employees be fully vaccinated by September 27, 2021.
Here is the latest quarantine requirement of Uncas Health for all NPS students and staff:
Fully vaccinated students and adults are not required to quarantine from school/work if they are a close contact to a COVID positive person. It is recommended that individual be referred for testing 3-5 days from exposure and wear a mask in public places for 14 days. The principal will continue to notify fully vaccinated persons of close contact even though there is no need to quarantine. Parents will need to provide proof of vaccination status to the school nurse in advance of the close contact in order to avoid quarantine.
Unvaccinated close contacts of a positive case must quarantine for 10 days from the last date of exposure to the positive case. They may return to school after 10 days if asymptomatic and fever-free for at least 24 hours. They should continue to monitor for symptoms on days 11-14. The individual should be tested if they become symptomatic. Last spring, Uncas Health recommended a “test out option” on day 5 or after to return on day 8, that “test out” option has been eliminated due to the differences in the COVID variant. There is not a way of returning to work or school before the 10 day quarantine period expires at this time.
This school year I do not plan to send a letter to all school personnel and families every time there is a COVID positive case. I will post the information to the website as notification and I will communicate the information at monthly BOE meetings. I received a great deal of feedback from families and staff saying that they were being overwhelmed with COVID communications and they would prefer to seek the information out on their own via a dashboard. This communication mechanism was utilized last year in many CT districts.
Here are the Health metrics to date:
Health Metrics-City of Norwich Positivity rate per 100,000:
As a reminder, all NPS students will be welcomed back to school on August 30, 2021. Attached please find the latest information on COVID-19 from the CT Department of Education.
Kristen E. Stringfellow, Ed.D.