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Everett Public Schools

COVID-19 Protocols 

— 2022-2023 School Year —


The Everett Public Schools will no longer be contact tracing, have a mask mandate in schools, with the exception of school health offices, or implement symptomatic or surveillance testing. 
 
Overview:
A rapid antigen test, such as a self-test, is preferred to a PCR test in most situations (at the discretion of the school nurse). The school nurse can require an antigen test by a medical facility if she finds it prudent in certain situations. 

To count days for isolation, Day 0 is the first day of symptoms OR the day the day a positive test was taken, whichever is earlier.  

While masks are not required or recommended in the setting except for in school health offices, any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID-19, will be supported in that choice.
 
For those who need or choose to mask, masking is never required in these settings while the individual is eating, drinking, sleeping or outside.

All individuals are encouraged to stay up-to-date with vaccination as vaccines remain the best way to help protect yourself and others.

Quarantine (when there is a known exposure) is no longer required nor recommended for EPS students or staff, regardless of vaccination status or where the exposure occurred. Exposed individuals may continue to attend school as long as they remain asymptomatic. Those who can mask should do so until Day 10, and it is recommended that they test on Day 6 of exposure. If symptoms develop, follow the guidance for symptomatic individuals, below.
 
COVID-19 Symptoms:
• Fever (100ºF or greater), chills, or shaking chills
• Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
• New loss of taste or smell
• Muscle aches or body aches
• Cough (not due to other known causes, such as chronic cough)  Must have medical documentation in the students school medical record. 
• Sore throat, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nausea, vomiting, when in combination with other symptoms
• Headache, when in combination with other symptoms
• Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms
• Nasal congestion or runny nose (not due to other known causes, such as allergies), when in combination with other symptoms

Symptomatic individuals can remain in their school/ activity if they have mild symptoms and if they have been tested and that test is negative. Best practice would also include wearing a mask, if possible, until symptoms are fully resolved. For symptomatic individuals, DPH recommends a second test within 48 hours if the initial test is negative.

If the individual is symptomatic at home and cannot be tested immediately prior to school, they should stay home and can be allowed to return to school if symptoms remain mild and they are tested and found to be negative, OR they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms are resolving, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return.  

If the individual is symptomatic at school and was not tested prior to school that day, the individual must be dismissed and can be allowed to return to school if symptoms remain mild and they test negative, OR they have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication and their symptoms are resolving, or if a medical professional makes an alternative diagnosis. A negative test is strongly recommended for return. 

Students and staff who test positive must isolate for at least five (5) days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine for 24 hours, they may return to school/ activity after Day 5 (on Day 6) and should wear a high-quality mask through Day 10:
• If the individual is able to mask, they must do so through Day 10.
• If the individual has a negative test on Day 5 or later, they do not need to mask.
• If the individual is unable to mask, they may return to programming with a negative test on Day 5 or later.

These guidelines will replace the district’s previous COVID-19 protocols. The EPS will adapt its protocols according to the most current research and understanding. Additionally, the release from any quarantine and/or isolation is under the jurisdiction of the local board of health and the Everett Board of Health can override the guidelines set forth in this document.  Furthermore, EPS reserves the right to change and update the district COVID Protocols following the DPH, Mass DESE, and Everett BOH recommendations.