Letter From Head Nurse Diane Wallace 3/2/2021

Kathryn M. Crowley

Superintendent of Schools

 

Dr. Sandra Forand, Asst. Supt.

Dr. Celeste Bowler, Asst. Supt.

 

March 2, 2021

Hello East Providence Parents/Guardians and Educational Community,

I hope you all are well and safe.  We had some encouraging news recently with the number of COVID-19 cases leveling off.  In many cases, numbers are reducing.  This news plus the availability of two vaccines and the approval of a third vaccine are making us all feel optimistic.

However, this is not the time to let our guard down.  We still need to follow all the RIDOH and CDC guidelines.

Most importantly, wear a mask.  For a year now, this has been the #1 recommendation in the fight against COVID.  Also, extremely important,  is social distancing.  We all need to remain 6 feet away from others.

Frequent hand washing is so important especially with use of hand sanitizer in between hand washing.  It is important that you are compliant with this information in order to “stop the spread’.

I am, also, resending information from a previous letter dated Jan. 11, 2021.  It states signs and symptoms, quarantine/isolation dates and travel guidelines.  All information in this letter is directly from the RIDOH Playbook which provides guidance for COVID-19 outbreak response in PreK to Grade 12.  Some of this information was updated on Feb. 15, 2021.  This information is meant to be a guide to help you with the process. RIDOH and your doctor should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.

If a person is having the following symptoms, and needs emergency attention, please call 911. These symptoms are related to COVID:  if one of the following symptoms is present, it is a probable COVID case and requires a COVID test:

–       Difficulty breathing

–       pain or pressure in chest

–       New confusion

–       Inability to wake or stay awake

–       Bluish lips or face

 

** this list does not reflect all possible symptoms requiring emergency care.

Other COVID symptoms:  Two or more of the following symptoms is a probable case and requires a COVID test. One symptom requires a call to the pediatrician and time out of school until symptoms resolve:

–  Fever or chills

–  Fatigue

–  Muscle or body aches

–  Headache

–  Sore throat

–  New loss of taste or smell

–  Congestion or runny nose (new)

–  Nausea or vomiting

–  Diarrhea

 

How long is isolation if you test positive for COVID?

Symptomatic

–   Isolation is at least 10 days since the day symptoms first appear.  20 days if you are severely

immunocompromised.  Isolation ends after day 10 and

–   at least 24 hours with no fever without fever-reducing medications

–   other symptoms of COVID are improving

–   loss of taste and smell may persist for weeks or months after recovery and will not

delay the end of isolation

 

Asymptomatic

–     isolate ten days from the date the individual was tested.  20 days if severely immunocompromise

 

Quarantine for close contacts

–      Close contacts must quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day they were in contact with the

infected individual.  This has changed. Previously it was 10 days, however, out of an abundance of

caution, the East Providence School District is requiring 14 days quarantine.  The CDC and RIDOH

consider 14 days their “gold standard” in reducing the spread of COVID-19.

 

Quarantine of household contacts

–      Household contacts need to quarantine while the individual is infectious  (until 10 days after symptom

onset) and then start their 14 day quarantine. To clarify further, this is a 24-day quarantine.

 

**RIDOH recommends ALL close contacts of people with COVID-19 get tested (with an antigen or PCR test) on

day 5 or later of quarantine.  This will assist in detecting asymptomatic infection and isolating the infected

person quickly to prevent further spread.

 

Lastly, travel quarantining:

Domestic travel:

RIDOH and CDC websites have current lists of states that are red states.  If you travel to a red state, you must do the following:

Quarantine is for 14 days with an option to test out of quarantine.

As an exception, you may provide proof of a negative result from a COVID test taken within 72 hours prior to

your arrival in Rhode Island.

or

Travelers who receive a COViD-19 test during their quarantine period in Rhode Island and get a negative result (either antigen or PCR) can stop quarantining, however, need to self-monitor for symptoms  (including fever) for 14 days.

International travel:

Quarantine is for 14 days.  There is no option for testing out of quarantine for international travelers.

Some frequently asked questions:

  1. Do contacts of contacts need to quarantine?

No, only direct contacts of the infectious person need to quarantine.

 

  1. If I am not on quarantine and I want to go for asymptomatic testing, do I need to quarantine while I wait for test results?

No, if you are asymptomatic and get tested, you do not need to quarantine while waiting for results.

 

  1. If I get tested during quarantine and I’m positive, how long do I need to stay at home?

If an individual on quarantine tests positive for COVID -19, the quarantine stops and isolation begins.

The isolation for a symptomatic individual is 10 days from the onset of symptoms or 10 days from the date of the positive test if you are asymptomatic.

 

K-12 COVID-19 Test Scheduling Service:

Phone number: 844-857-1814 or portal.ri.gov

Who can schedule a test through this service?

Anyone associated with K-12 (students, staff, coaches, etc.) who are:

–  Symptomatic or

–  A close contact of a person who tested positive for COVID-19 or

–  A classmate of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19

 

Testing:

If a symptomatic person is tested, can the person return to school if the rapid test result is negative, but the PCR test result is still pending?

–   No, if an individual is symptomatic they should not return until they receive both a negative rapid and a

negative PCR result.

 

As new information becomes available, I will send it to you.

Diane M. Wallace, RN BSN

School Nurse Riverside Middle School

Head Nurse East Providence School Department.

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Letter to the Editor: Appreciation for Our School Committees

Submitted by Superintendents in the East Bay Educational
·Collaborative

January 15, 2021

Here in the East Bay, we are so fortunate that our eight school districts are governed by outstanding School Committees.
January is National School Board Appreciation Month, and we want to take this opportunity to thank the School Committees in Tiverton, Portsmouth, Newport, Middletown, Little Compton, East Providence, Bristol-Warren, and Barrington.

As Superintendents, we see every day the tremendous amount of time, hard work, and expertise that School Committee members invest in our communities. The dedicated individuals on these boards – including many parents and leaders of the business, nonprofit, faith, and higher education sectors – devote countless hours of their personal time to ensure the success of our school. districts and the more than 20,000 students we serve.

School Committees play several critical roles as the governing bodies of school districts, including setting the vision, adopting policy, and ensuring strong fiscal oversight. These elected officials also serve as ambassadors for our schools and for public education, amplifying the voices of the residents and communities they represent

We are especially grateful for the tireless leadership our School Committees have provided during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Throughout this ordeal, we have relied on School Committees to help develop our reopening plans, allocate emergency funding, adopt new policies, negotiate with labor unions, solicit community feedback, and much more. We extend our heartfelt thanks to the members of our School Committees for being great partners and passionate advocates every step of the way.

Superintendents of Schools in the East Bay Education Collaborative:

Michael B. Messore ID
Barrington Public Schools

Jonathan T. Brice, Ed.D.
Bristol-Warren Regional School District

Kathryn M. Crowley
East Providence School Department

Laurie Dias-Mitchell, Ed.D.
Little Compton School Department

Rosemarie K. Kraeger
Superintendent, Middletown Public Schools

Colleen Burns Jermain, Ed.D.
Superintendent, Newport Public Schools

Thomas W. Kenworthy, Ed.D.
Portsmouth School Department

Peter Sanchioni, Ph.D.
Tiverton Public Schools

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On Site Testing for Students and Staff that are Asymptomatic

Dear Parents & Guardians,

On Site Testing for Students and Staff that are Asymptomatic

East Providence School District will be providing asymptomatic testing to students and staff in the coming
weeks. Consent letters will be emailed to all parents and must be returned to your child’s school no later
than Friday, January 22, 2021. Tests will be administered during school hours to those students with
signed consent slips only starting the week of January 25th.

We will also schedule one night of testing at your child’s school if you would like to accompany your child.
This Binax test antigen card is a one minute test and results will be available within 15 minutes. If your
child is positive, the school nurse will call you.

The BinaxNow COVID-1 Antigen Test is a voluntary self-swab test. Students 12 years old and older can swab themselves but observed by a trained staff. Younger students will be swabbed by the school nurse. These
cards take less than one minute to administer and are NOT the “deep nose” swabs that are found at other
state testing sites. The BinaxNOW swabs work by swabbing the inside of each nostril five times in a circular motion and placing the swab on an antigen test card for results. This is an asymptomatic test designed to
detect COVID-19 where no symptoms are present, helping to further prevent the potential spread of the virus within our schools.

School winter athletics will be required to participate in the testing and will be observed by our athletic trainer, Amanda Moran. Athletes will be provided more information from our Athletic Director.

Students will receive more information from their Principal regarding testing dates.

Thank you in advance for your understanding. Safety is everyone’s responsibility for a Happy and Healthy
New Year for all.

Sincerely,

Kathryn M. Crowley
Superintendent of Schools

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