LINCOLN–(News Release Jan. 3)–Lincoln Public Schools officials announced updates to the 2021-22 LPS Safe Return to School Plan for second semester.
Starting January 4, LPS will require face coverings for everyone inside all LPS buildings and buses at all grade levels during the school day, and before and after school during school sponsored activities during the month of January. LPS will review this requirement again and announce any changes on January 28, 2022. The full pandemic plan can be found on the LPS website: lps.org/safereturn. Comments on the updates can be shared through the feedback form on the website.
“We have been monitoring community conditions over Winter Break and consulting with local health officials in determining protocols to help keep our schools open and our students and staff in school,” said Superintendent Steve Joel. “We have to consider the health and well being of over 8,000 staff members and 41,000 students that are required to be in our buildings during the school day.”
Joel added that other factors leading to the change include a rapid rise in positive COVID-19 cases in our community, new variants proving to be more contagious, booster vaccinations not yet available for children ages 12-15, and staffing and sub shortages due to illness.
“We know students need in-person learning, and we are using all of the tools proven to work to ensure that happens. Again, we will review our face covering requirements and announce any changes on January 28.”
LPS also worked with the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department to update the Quarantine and Exclusion protocols following the new guidelines released by the CDC last week.
Exclusion from an LPS building for illness
Following LPS policies around illnesses, if an individual has any symptoms the following is required before they can return:
The individual must be fever free for 24 hours without the use of medications.
The rash must be gone or there is a note from a medical provider which says the rash is not contagious to others.
The eyes are clear, with no drainage or a medical provider’s note stating the individual is not contagious.
No vomiting or diarrhea for 24 hours.
Persistent cough is resolved without the aid of cough suppressant medication.
Or the individual must have a note stating medical clearance from a health care provider.
Close Contact – Quarantine
An individual identified as a close contact exposure to a positive COVID-19 case and who DOES NOT have symptoms must wear a face covering for 10 days while around others, including at school and during activities.
Individuals who have an on-going high-risk exposure to a positive COVID-19 case who is unable to isolate (i.e. a household contact who lives with them) should REMAIN AT HOME until the positive person completes 5 days of isolation. If the close contact individual does not have symptoms, they can return to school as long as they wear a face covering around others for 10 days after the 5 day isolation.
After being identified as a close contact, if symptoms develop at any time during the 10 day period the individual must stay home and be tested using a PCR test.
If an individual cannot wear a face covering, then they MUST be excluded from school and activities for the full 10 days. The individual may return after the 10th day if no symptoms develop.
Positive for COVID-19 – Isolation
For students who test positive, families need to contact their school health office to determine next steps and when they can return to school. Staff who test positive need to fill out the C-19 form and wait for Risk Management to contact them.
If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they need to stay home for 5 days from the date the sample was collected.
If the COVID-19 positive individual DOES NOT have symptoms or if symptoms are resolving, they can return on day 6 but must wear a face covering for an additional 5 days.
If an individual cannot wear a face covering, then they MUST be excluded from school and activities for the full 10 days.