To all Smithfield Families,
Welcome to the 2022 - 2023 school year. We want to share with you how our District will respond to COVID and other illnesses. Our plan consists of actions that protect the health of our community from a variety of illnesses. Although our policy will still include COVID, it will be directed more toward overall health and well-being.
We will continue to protect our school community by asking that you screen your children for signs of illness daily and if they are ill, keep them home. COVID is only one of many illnesses that can spread through our schools. If your child has symptoms that cannot be explained by a chronic illness, they should stay home and be checked by a healthcare provider if appropriate. We have a general sickness policy for vomiting, diarrhea and fever that includes staying home for a minimum of 24 hours from the last incident without the use of medication to relieve symptoms.
A person who tests positive for COVID should isolate for 5 days. If symptoms improve or resolve (and there has been no fever for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication), the person may resume normal activity on day 6 wearing a quality, well-fitted mask on days 6 through 10. Those considered close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID are no longer required to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. They should, however, wear a quality, well-fitted mask for 10 days in indoor, public spaces.
We support those that choose to wear a mask. Masks are still strongly encouraged for those people who have tested positive for COVID on days 6 through 10 of their illness/infection. Masks are also encouraged to be worn by those who have known contact with a person who has tested positive. In general, masks can be used as a healthcare tool to protect ourselves and others from a variety of transmittable illnesses. They should not be limited to just COVID.
We will no longer offer screening testing for COVID in our district. There will be a supply of at-home test kits available at each school. We will continue to offer antigen tests to people who have symptoms for their own use. Testing for large gatherings and athletic events will not be required at this time.
Although a specific physical distance is not required, distancing yourself from others when ill limits your impact on their health. We will continue to encourage personal responsibility. Encouraging hand washing or sanitizing when physical washing is not available and masking will also help to lower the risk of transmitting illness.
We have shifted our District response to one that more accurately reflects the changes in the COVID illness. As always, we will continue to be prepared for changes and communicate any updates to you.