Questions and Answers Regarding Updated COVID-19 Guidance

January 2022

COVID-19 Procedures

At the end of December, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance regarding the quarantine period for COVID-19. Based on this guidance, the CT Department of Health (DPH) released updated guidance for school districts, which can be viewed in the following document:

School Contact Tracing_Quarantine_Update_12312021.pdf

Based on this guidance, Odyssey has updated our procedures regarding COVID-19. Please see the questions and answers below for more information.

Quarantine, Isolation, and Contact Tracing

What changes are being made to current practices based on the new, December 2021 guidance provided by the CDC and DPH?

Quarantine and Isolation Period

The quarantine and isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID-19 has been reduced from 7-10 days to a minimum of 5 days (return on day 6 from symptom onset; or if asymptomatic, the date of a positive test result) as long as the individual is fever-free and symptom-free for 24 hours.


Discontinuation of Contact Tracing

In most cases, parents will no longer receive phone calls when their students are in a classroom or in close contact with an individual(s)at school who test positive for COVID-19. Parents/Guardians will be notified through email if their student(s) was in close contact at school with an individual who tested positive. Parents/Guardians should monitor their student(s) for ANY symptoms. In most cases, as long as students remain symptom-free they can continue to attend school.

Symptoms, Contact, and Positive Results

What should I do if my child is showing ANY symptoms of COVID-19?

YOUR CHILD SHOULD NOT ATTEND SCHOOL, REGARDLESS OF VACCINATION STATUS, IF YOUR CHILD IS SHOWING ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:

  • Fever (100.4 or higher) or chills

  • Cough

  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

  • Fatigue

  • Muscle or body aches

  • Headache

  • New loss of taste or smell

  • Sore throat

  • Congestion or runny nose

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Diarrhea


If your child is showing any of the above symptoms:

  • Inform Nurse Jennah at 860-645-1234 x157 or jeshirley@odysseyschool.org

  • Contact your child’s primary care physician

  • Get tested (PCR, antigen, and/or self-testing kit)

  • Remain at home in isolation

  • Your child must be symptom free for 24 hours, and should have a negative COVID test to return to school.

What should I do if my child tests positive for COVID-19?

Your child should remain isolated (if possible) and wear a mask in the house if around others. Your child may return to school no earlier than 5 days after symptom onset, or from the testing date if asymptomatic. Your child must be fever and symptom-free for 24 hours prior to returning to school. Please inform Nurse Jennah at 860-645-1234 x157 or jeshirley@odysseyschool.org if your child tests positive for COVID-19.

What should I do if my child was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 outside of school?

If vaccinated- Monitor your child for symptoms. If your child is completely symptom-free, your child may continue to attend school. Testing should be completed on or after day 5 from the day of contact.

If partially vaccinated or unvaccinated- Your child must remain at home for at least 5 days from the last day of exposure to the person who tested positive. Monitor your child for symptoms and test no earlier than 5 days from the last exposure. After the quarantine period, your child may return to school if fever and symptom free for 24 hours. Inform Nurse Jennah at 860-645-1234 x157 or jeshirley@odysseyschool.org.

If someone in my household tests positive for COVID-19, when is my child able to return to school?

If vaccinated: Monitor your child for symptoms. If your child is completely symptom-free, your child may continue to attend school. Testing should be completed on or after day 5 from the day of contact.

If partially vaccinated or unvaccinated- Your child must remain at home for at least 5 days from the last day of exposure to the person who tested positive. If your child is unable to remain isolated from the person in your household who tested positive, then your child must remain in quarantine for 10 days (5 days beginning from the date that the individual tested positive, and another 5 days from the last exposure). Your child can return to school on day 11 with a negative test and if fever and symptom free for 24 hours. Inform Nurse Jennah at 860-645-1234 x157 or jeshirley@odysseyschool.org.

If my child was in close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 at school or outside of school, is my child still able to participate in extracurricular activities?

If vaccinated- As long as your child is symptom free, your child should be able to attend extracurricular activities.


If partially vaccinated or unvaccinated- Your child will need to quarantine for at least 5 days, receive negative test results no earlier than day 5 from the last exposure, and be symptom-free before returning to extracurricular activities.

What can we do if our child was in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and/or is showing symptoms, but we are unable to schedule or find a COVID-19 test for our child?

Odyssey has a limited supply of at-home tests that will be distributed to families as needed if children are sent home with symptoms or who have been in contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19.

Remote Learning and Closures

Given the community spread, will Odyssey close or change to fully remote instruction if numbers continue to rise?

A: We do not anticipate closing school due to COVID-19 unless we experience a staffing shortage that would significantly impact our ability to operate. In this case, we would close school, similarly to a weather related closure, and the day(s) would be added to the calendar at the end of the year.


School districts do not have the authority to switch to full remote instruction (for all K-8 students). Full remote instruction will not be implemented at Odyssey unless ordered by the Governor’s office.

Are students able to access remote instruction if in quarantine or isolation?

Yes, students are able to access remote instruction when they are in isolation or quarantine due to situations including:

  • Receiving a positive COVID-19 test result

  • Showing any symptoms of COVID-19

  • Close contact with someone outside of school who tested positive for COVID-19 (if unvaccinated or partially vaccinated).


Chromebooks are available to students if needed to access remote learning. In order to be marked “present” on attendance, quarantined/isolated students must complete remote work equivalent to half of a full school day.

Are parents permitted to choose remote learning for their children?

No. As per state guidelines, unless students need to quarantine or isolate, remote learning is not an option. Students are able to access work during the time that they are out, but students will be marked absent if they are not present at school.

Travel

Will Odyssey continue to require negative test results after traveling out of the state or country?

Odyssey Community School Travel Policy - Updated January 11, 2022


The CDC has issued clear guidelines when traveling out of state and out of the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those guidelines can be found here:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/travel-during-covid19.html

In particular, please note the following:

● Delay travel until you are fully vaccinated

● Never travel if you are sick or have had recent contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.

● Test before AND after your trip.- A negative test result (PCR preferred but rapid and at-home tests will be accepted) must be submitted to the nurse before returning to school AND 5 days after returning from travel **(please see below)

● Check your destination’s COVID-19 situation before traveling. State or local governments may have travel restrictions in place.


**With the CDC’s change in quarantine and isolation guidance as motivated by the scientific findings of more rapid transmission and symptom presentation, any student who has traveled out of the state or country MUST prove a negative test before returning to school and another negative test 5 days after their return.

As always, PLEASE notify the office BEFORE traveling so we can plan accordingly. As there are no travel restrictions at this time, individual schools and districts are responsible for creating a policy that they feel will keep students and staff safe as well as allow for the least amount of time out of school. With that said, travel plans and vacations should be planned during school breaks and summertime but we understand that this is not always possible and emergencies happen.


Please contact Nurse Jennah at 860-645-1234 x157 or jeshirley@odysseyschool.org for more information regarding our travel policy and testing.

Vaccine Clinics

Will Odyssey be hosting any vaccine clinics?

Yes! Odyssey will host several upcoming vaccine clinics for children ages 5-11, and 12 and older.

Dates:

  • Monday, January 10, 1:30pm-6:00pm

  • Tuesday, January 18, 1:30pm-6:00pm

  • Tuesday, January 25, 1:30pm-6:00pm

  • Tuesday, February 1, 1:30pm-6:00pm

  • Wednesday, February 23, 1:30pm-6:00pm


Available Shots:

  • 5-11 year olds- 1st and 2nd Pediatric Pfizer

  • 12 and older- 1st, 2nd, and Booster (Pfizer, Moderna, J&J)

Forms for Vaccine Clinic

COVID vaccine intake form-ALL (1).pdf
pre-vaccination-screening-form dec.pdf
Pediatric Intake Form.pdf

Additional Resources

Remote Learning Guidance 123121.pdf

Contacts

Jennah Shirley-School Nurse

860-645-1234 x157

jeshirley@odysseyschool.org

Dr. Philip O'Reilly-Executive Director

860-645-1234 x156

poreilly@odysseyschool.org

Annie Busby-Principal

860-645-1234 x165

abusby@odysseyschool.org

Jessica Swann-Assistant Principal

860-645-1234 x147

jswann@odysseyschool.org

Chuck Carey- Business Manager and Human Resources Director

860-645-1234 x136

ccarey@odysseyschool.org

Chris Buonacquisto-Technology Director

860-645-1234 x158

cbuonacquisto@odysseyschool.org

Linda Curts- Main Office

860-645-1234 x100

lcurtis@odysseyschool.org

Jennifer Janus- Main Office

860-645-1234 x104

jjanus@odysseyschool.org