Wrangell’s school district is working to transition its COVID-19 mitigation policy to one more generally focused on keeping illnesses out of schools. Superintendent Bill Burr went through policy changes with school board members at a January 16 meeting.
“We want to protect our students from every illness, not just COVID-specific,” Burr explained. He says the district is still focused on keeping sickness out of schools – but it’s a new phase of the pandemic.
One of the biggest changes was actually implemented last month, Burr says, but he highlighted the policy change again Monday: Wrangell student-athletes are no longer required to test before traveling to other communities for games.
“We’re encouraging testing before travel,” Burr said, adding: “The CDC still recommends group travel. But we have gotten a good testing program. It is optional, we do have tests, and we still encourage people [to test].”
The schools’ revised mitigation plan still encourages masking when recovering from illnesses like COVID.
The CDC recommends that anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 isolate for at least five days. If they’ve been fever-free for 24 hours, they can return to work or school but should wear a mask for the next five days. Health officials say anyone with the flu should stay home for 3 to 4 days after symptoms develop, or until 24 hours after their last fever, whichever comes later.
“[Masking when showing symptoms] is highly encouraged,” Burr explained, “And this doesn’t apply just to COVID symptoms. We do have a number of illnesses that have gone around. It’s not a requirement, but I just wanted to clarify that it’s still encouraged for the sake of our staff and other students.”
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