With the CDC and Iowa Public Health Department making constant changes to their COVID-19 guidance, it leaves many parents wondering what to do if their child has COVID-19 or is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
The Melcher-Dallas COVID-19 policy for students has not changed since the beginning of the year. At this time, even though the CDC and IPHD have reduced the recommended quarantine time frame from 10 days to 5, we will stay with the 10-day quarantine. The reason for this is really quite simple. If we were to go with the new guidance of out for 5 days, students would be required to wear a mask for the next 5 days at school. State law does not allow school districts to require students to wear a mask. Therefore, we have to stay with the 10-day quarantine time period.
The district has seen a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases since returning from winter break. The known cases are fewer than ten in the entire district. However, it is possible that we experience staffing issues due to the rise in cases amongst staff members. Like many other districts in Iowa, our district has a shortage of substitute teachers. This shortage could result in a school closure if we do not have enough teachers or substitute teachers to run our daily schedule. In the event that school is closed due to staffing shortages, the days would have to be made up at the end of the year, just like a snow day closure. The district will notify parents in the event of a school closure.
Below you will find the Melcher-Dallas guidelines for COVID-19.
Masks will be optional for staff, students, visitors and spectators
Students will not be required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19
Staff and students ill with COVID-19 will not be allowed at school for 10 days after symptoms start, with symptoms improving and fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever reducing medicines OR 10 days after positive test (if no symptoms)
Remote online learning option will only be available if allowed by the Iowa State Government and the Iowa Department of Education