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COVID Mitigation

  • 3/7/22 COVID Update

    3/7/22 - RE: Update on COVID face coverings and mitigation protocols.

    Westside Christian High School Families:

    Governor Brown has ordered the indoor masking mandate to be lifted at midnight Friday March 11th. Starting Monday, March 14, masks will be optional for everyone on campus or at school events.  The Oregon Department of Education and Oregon Health Authority have issued updated guidance in the COVID Resiliency Framework protocols that we have been required to follow.  All mandates, including face coverings, detailed contact tracing, and mandatory quarantines for exposures have been removed.   The updated Resilience Framework states "The decision to pause contact tracing and quarantine is based in science and acknowledges that these practices now have very limited if any impact on the transmission of COVID-19 in our communities. SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, has evolved to become one of the most transmissible viruses known. By the time an exposure is identified and contact tracing is performed, transmission has already occurred."  While ODE/OHA are leaving the door open to returning mandates if substantial breakouts occur, we are no longer required to quarantine or test exposed persons as of Monday March 14th.

    The document does require quarantine for COVID positive persons and strongly advises that potentially exposed persons are notified and offered optional testing.  Therefore, our COVID mitigation protocols will be updated to state the following:

    • Air Quality and Hygiene: 
      • WCHS will continue to operate our HVAC systems to exchange air constantly during school hours.
      • Teachers in rooms with operable windows, may still open windows to increase fresh air.
      • WCHS will continue to sanitize all high touch points with an electrostatic sprayer twice each school day.
    • Illness / Positive COVID Cases:
      • Households should continue to keep students home if they become ill and have 2 or more COVID-19 symptoms not consistent with other known health issues or seasonal allergies, until 24 hours after symptoms dissipate.
      • If a person tests positive for COVID he/she will be required to isolate for 5 full days (day of symptom onset or positive test, whichever is earlier, is day 0).  He/She can return on the 6th day and must wear a mask until day 10.  He or she must be symptom free for at least 24 hours without the aid of symptom reducing medication to return.  Fatigue and loss of taste/smell are not exclusionary symptoms for return, as these symptoms can last for several weeks.
      • Persons identified as being in close contact in the same class or group setting with a COVID positive case will be notified so they can monitor closely for symptoms.  Testing will not be required but is suggested.
    • Testing:
      • WCHS will continue to offer OHA provided rapid tests on campus, if a student becomes symptomatic at school.  This test is optional and will continue to require a permission form on file.
      • WCHS will also continue to offer OHA provided rapid take home test kits to persons who may have been exposed on campus or at a school event.  Using these tests are optional, but will be available.

    We recognize that the families in our WCHS community have various stages of readiness for this change.  Some staff or students may continue to be at high risk for complications if they were to contract COVID-19 or may have high risk persons in their household.  Our staff, faculty, and student body will respect anyone's decision to continue wearing a mask.  If you do decide to continue wearing a mask, we would invite you to review the CDC most current guidance on mask types and effectiveness (https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/71/wr/mm7106e1.htm).

    Throughout this pandemic we have strived to balance government mandates, a community of families with very diverse viewpoints, and the second of the greatest commandments, "... Love your neighbor as yourself".  Our goal is to safeguard the WCHS community and prioritize keeping students in in-person learning.  We appreciate the grace and understanding that many of you have afforded the WCHS team through this season.  We are prayerful and hopeful that the most difficult days are behind us.

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Questions? 

 
Head of School 
John Hynes 

hynes@wchsonline.org

503.697.4711 x1163

 

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