EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – Edmond Public Schools is seeing a significant decline in COVID-19 cases and quarantines, and as a result, is instituting a COVID positive threshold that will initiate a change in quarantine and face mask policies if the threshold is met.
The school district established the threshold in collaboration with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department, according to a letter Superintendent Angela Grunewald sent to students’ families.
Grunewald said the school district will determine a date to move from required quarantines to quarantine notification if positive COVID-19 cases stay below .5 percent for 10 consecutive school days.
“In the case of a quarantine notification, parents will be notified if their child has been in close contact with a positive case, and the parent will be responsible for carrying out the quarantine or not,” Grunewald said. “If at any time after moving from quarantines required to quarantine notification, Covid positive cases begin moving back up and exceed .5% for five consecutive days, the district will set a date to begin requiring quarantines again.”
If a student is quarantining at home when the threshold is reached, the parent or guardian can choose for their student to complete the quarantine or return to school if they are symptom-free.
“We have currently been below .5% for six days. More communication will be sent out when/if the threshold is met,” Grunewald said.
The school district has seen a “dramatic decrease” in positive COVID cases and quarantines, with some schools having no positive cases for several days.
“This is welcome news!” Grunewald said.
OCCHD officials told school administrators they want to ensure parents understand that it is best to quarantine a student if a student has direct, prolonged exposure to a COVID-positive student , so to avoid potentially spreading COVID in schools.
Examples of direct, prolonged exposure include students riding in a car together, eating lunch together every day or having a sleepover, according to the letter.
Potential face mask policy changes
Grunewald also said the school district’s face mask policy can potentially change.
She said the district will set a date to move from masks required to masks recommended when positive COVID cases within the district drop below .1 percent for 10 consecutive school days.
“If, after taking this action, Covid positive cases begin moving back up and exceed .1% for five consecutive days, the district will begin requiring masks,” Grunewald said.
The school district implemented a face mask mandate after an increasing number of students tested positive for COVID-19.
Grunewald urges parents and guardians to help push back against the pandemic by ensuring their children take precautions against COVID-19.
“As we transition to more lenient precautions, please consider making the choice every day to protect those around you, particularly our youngest students and those who are immunocompromised,” she said. “We appreciate your partnership. It is the efforts of everyone working together that have helped us to reach this point. Thank you for the role you play in your children’s success at school each day.”