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Updates/Information from the WISD COVID Task Force

August 27, 2021

WISD Family, 
 
The WISD COVID Task Force met on Thursday, August 26 as part of its ongoing mission to remain apprised of the impact of COVID-19 on the WISD community. After more than a week of school the Task Force has received questions via email and phone calls regarding the district's Health and Safety protocols and procedures. This email will attempt to clarify and answer these questions and provide further information on the district's Health & Safety Plan.
 
The Task Force encourages all of our students and their families to take the appropriate measures to stay as safe and healthy as possible. The Task Force also asks our families to note section 3b. of Governor Abbott's Executive Order GA-38 that says:
 
"In areas where the COVID-19 transmission rate is high, individuals are encouraged to follow the safe practices they have already mastered, such as wearing face coverings over the nose and mouth wherever it is not feasible to maintain six feet of social distancing from another person not in the same household, but no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering."  
 
COVID Screening
We know that many of the symptoms of COVID (fever, cough, congestion, body aches, etc.) are also symptoms of other health issues (influenza, allergies, cold, etc.) Because of this, we ask that you continue to screen your student(s) for these symptoms, just as you would have pre-COVID, and if your student is experiencing these symptom(s), please contact your child's physician. Please do not send them to school. If you have questions that are school or class related, please contact your campus principal or your child's teacher. However, if you have health-related questions, please contact your child's physician. 
 
COVID Case Reporting
It is important to notify your child's campus if your child receives a confirmed positive COVID test from your physician or the Curative testing site. After notification, as it states in our Health & Safety Plan, your child's campus nurse will then contact your family and share quarantine/isolation recommendations specific to your family's situation. WISD encourages you to follow the recommendations that are given by our nurses for the health and well-being of all individuals at our campuses. Please be aware that a COVID test result (positive or negative) acquired from a purchased, over-the-counter test is not sufficient to report to WISD. We have been advised that these test results are unreliable, which is why we're asking that when reporting positive or negative tests you only use test results from your child's physician or from the Curative testing site.
 
COVID Case Notifications
In accordance with requirements from the TEA, WISD reports all test-confirmed COVID cases to the Hays County Local Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services. 

Teachers, staff, and parents of elementary students will be notified of positive cases within a classroom that they or their child participated in. Teachers, staff, and parents of secondary students will be notified of positive cases within the campus that they or their child participates in via a dashboard located at: wimberleyisd.net/covid-19. (Elementary cases will also be included on the dashboard.)  Additionally, teachers, staff, and parents of all students in an extracurricular or after-school program cohort will be notified of positive cases if a test-confirmed COVID case is identified among students, teacher, or staff who participated in the activity or program.

At this time the dashboard is updated at a minimum of once a week in an effort to reduce the amount of time our nursing staff has to spend compiling case counts - allowing them to better care for our students and staff. Monday was the day chosen to make this update because that is the day WISD reports case counts to DSHS and TEA, so we are reporting consistent numbers to multiple agencies and the public. As of Friday, August 27 the dashboard has been updated to show the percentage of test-confirmed COVID cases among students and staff at each campus. As with all of our current procedures this plan is subject to change, especially if there is a significant increase or decrease of the number of cases on a campus. Last year the district dashboard was updated in this same manner. 

Mitigation Efforts - Clean, Filtered Air

Our HVAC systems are equipped with air circulators, which bring in fresh outdoor air to cool and/or heat the buildings. This year these units have been running 24 hours a day to keep a continuous flow of "new" air coming to our student/staff environments. We have been advised by medical professionals that this practice is significant in providing clean air.  Also, most of the Safe Breathing Zone Units are on and running 24 hours a day. Some of these units are connected to electricity through our motion-detection lighting system, so they do turn off overnight. But be assured they are on and running well before our students enter our buildings each morning.

Mitigation Efforts - Athletic Department

Our Athletic Department has reinstituted some of the mitigation strategies that were in place last school year - including the recommendation that students and staff wear face coverings in indoor settings, such as the locker rooms. Other safety protocols include: 

  • The discontinuation of "community" water stations - athletes will be asked to bring a personal water jug to practices
  • Weight room equipment and other common touch points are being cleaned and sanitized at higher rates
  • When in indoor settings (locker rooms, weight room, buses, etc.) athletes are to remain in groupings and keep proper spacing when possible

Thank you for your attention to this email, and thank you for being a supportive member of the WISD Family!

 

Wimberley ISD COVID Task Force