January 10, 2022
Dear Mansfield Staff and Families,
The spread of the COVID-19 virus continues at a rate beyond anything we have seen since the start of the pandemic. Since we were last in school on Thursday, twelve additional cases of COVID-19 have been reported among members of our school community. These cases include 4 at MMS, 1 at Goodwin, 4 at Southeast, and 3 at Vinton. Anyone who was identified as a close contact has been notified.
If there is any positive news in all of this it is that we are learning more every week about the Omicron variant and finding that when schools use a layered approach to mitigating the risks of spread, it works. We have been using this layered approach throughout the pandemic in the Mansfield Schools and our data support these national findings. There has been little to no spread of the virus in our schools. In addition, Omicron appears to have a shorter incubation period, meaning those who are exposed become ill in less days than earlier variants.
Given this information, Mansfield will reduce its period of isolation and quarantine to 5 days following very careful practices as defined below. If your child is currently home due to the need to isolate or quarantine, someone from the school will reach out to provide you with a new return date. Do not send your child to school until you hear from school personnel. Also, please note, in many cases returning to school requires a COVID test be administered on day 5. We are in the process of procuring test kits that can be provided to students who need to test.
- The new practices allow a COVID positive individual to return to school on day 6 or later when fever-free without fever reducing medication for 24 hours AND all symptoms are significantly improved.
- Anyone with COVID-like symptoms must isolate at home and test. If the test is positive, continue to isolate for a minimum of 5 days as described above. If the test is negative, may return to school 24 hours after the fever has returned to normal and other symptoms are significantly improved.
- Anyone identified as a close contact must test 5 days after the exposure.
- Those not yet fully vaccinated who are identified as a close contact must quarantine for 5 days and test on day 5 before returning to school.
We will continue to carefully monitor the health of our community and our schools and will make further adjustments as needed.
Kelly M. Lyman, Superintendent