OCS COVID Plan 2021-22

Plan Update: February 14, 2022 Last Updated: 2/28/2022 1:03 PM

OCS Return to School Plan 2021-2022

Our current plan is based on the Kentucky Department for Public Health’s Guidance for K-12 School Operations for In-Person Learning.

Please know that at any time, additional preventative measures may be implemented if school or community spread necessitates or if mandates are issued.


Updated Quarantine and Isolation Protocols Starting February 28, 2022:

The district has been monitoring the continuing decline in the state positivity rate, Oldham County incidence rate, and school case numbers over the last 4 weeks. The sharp decline in cases resulted in a change in the district's policy regarding face coverings last week. Recent discussions with the Oldham County Health Department regarding the prevalence of breakthrough cases, coupled with the relatively mild severity of the Omicron variant, have prompted the district to review and revise its quarantine and isolation protocols.  

Beginning on Monday February 28, students who are in "close contact" with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 will no longer be required to quarantine. The elimination of the quarantine requirement applies to all students regardless of vaccination status. This is consistent with the Health Department's findings that with Omicron, vaccination status was not statistically significant in terms of contracting the virus. However, vaccination status is still significant in terms of avoiding severe illness, hospitalization, and death.

Students who have been in close contact with a positive individual should monitor for symptoms and isolate for five days if they have symptoms or test positive.

The decision to modify our quarantine protocols is heavily influenced by the unique characteristics of the Omicron variant. The district maintains the authority to reinstate contact tracing and quarantine protocols if necessary to respond to a future variant.


Oldham County Schools has been reviewing the following data points daily and weekly since reinstating a face mask requirement on January 11: 

  • Number of positive COVID-19 cases on a 5-day average within Oldham County Schools 
  • Hospitalization and ICU capacity both locally and within our region
  • Oldham County COVID-19 incident rate
  • State COVID-19 positivity rate
  • Oldham County vaccination rate

During the last two weeks, we have been following the sharp decline in the Oldham County incident rate and the state positivity rate, along with a downward trend in the 5-day average case numbers within Oldham County Schools. The percent of positive cases reported in each building has declined, and remains low. Currently, 0.26% of the district’s student population are reporting positive cases. 

In addition to carefully monitoring the data, we have remained in close contact with the Oldham County Health Department. OCHD Director Matt Rhodes has shared that over the past six months, positive cases within our correctional facilities have remained low enough to have little to no impact on the county’s incident rate. However, during the last week, 50% of the positive cases reported for Oldham County have stemmed from our correctional facilities, which has had a disproportionate impact on the overall county incident rate.

We also recognize that conditions continue to change as the pandemic progresses. Members of our school community, including students, have now had time to become fully vaccinated, new medical therapies have been developed and become publicly available, and experience has demonstrated that the Omicron variant, although highly transmissible, is less severe for most individuals.

For these reasons, Oldham County Schools will be changing to a mask recommendation for staff, studentsand visitors in all buildings beginning on Monday, February 14, 2022. However, please note the following:

  • The federal mandate requiring that masks be worn on buses remains in place
  • A mask requirement for individual schools for up to two weeks as previously approved by the OC Board of Education may be implemented if needed 
  • The OC Board of Education reserves the right to implement or adjust our COVID-19 plan as necessary based upon state and local conditions

Our revised COVID-19 plan will be posted on our website before students return to school on Monday, February 14.


Sincerely,

Jason Radford 
Superintendent


We wanted to give you an update on our mask requirement. This requirement will remain in place for the time being.

At the January 24, 2022 OCBE meeting, the Board gave the superintendent the ability to make decisions about universal masking and other mitigation protocols, should the numbers within Oldham County continue to trend down. If no action is taken by the superintendent before the next OCBE meeting, the Board would review the universal masking policy and possibly take action at their next meeting, which is February 28.

If the decision is made to allow the return to mask optional, that decision will be communicated in a timely manner. 

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.


At the January 10, 2022 OCBE meeting, the Board voted to require all students, staff, and visitors to wear masks in all buildings, for the next two weeks during the instructional day and at enrichment centers. (Masks remain mandatory on buses under the Federal mask requirement until at least March 18, 2022).

After reviewing our most recent data, we have seen an increase in positive cases in students and staff. The mask requirement will begin tomorrow, Tuesday, January 11. The Board will review our numbers again and revisit the mask requirement at the January 24 OCBE meeting.

Additionally, the Board voted to accept the new KDPH guidelines sent out January 10 pertaining to quarantine and isolation protocols. Under these new guidelines, quarantines and isolation may be shortened in some cases.

KPH Guidelines for Isolation and Quarantines with Universal Masking:

  • Isolate individuals who test positive for at least five days
  • No contact tracing needed for in-school exposures
  • No quarantines needed for in-school exposures
  • Quarantine individuals not up to date with COVID-19 vaccination who are exposed to COVID-19 at home for at least 5 days, unless participating in a Test to Stay modified quarantine

Parents, it is very important that you keep your child at home if they are experiencing any symptoms of illness.

We continue to provide for the educational needs of our students while being mindful of both their physical and mental well-being in the process. We recognize the importance of in-person learning every day for our students and we will do everything to make this possible. We believe these measures will help us achieve this goal.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and support.

Respectfully,

Dr. Jason Radford

Superintendent


At the November 22, 2021 OCBE meeting, the Board approved a mitigation strategy that could be implemented in individual schools going forward in order to prevent a COVID outbreak. 

This strategy allows our COVID committee to continue to analyze the data within individual schools on a daily basis and may implement masking school-wide for up to 2 weeks. These decisions on individual schools would be based on the number of positive cases in a school, family connection of positive cases, school exposure of positive cases, large events, and suspected school transmission.


In light of recent data, the Oldham County Board of Education made the following adjustments to our COVID-19 plan.

- Masks

  • Wearing face masks in school buildings will be optional, but recommended, for high school teachers, high school visitors, and students in grades 9-12 beginning on November 11; preschool, elementary, and middle school students, visitors, and staff must continue to wear masks in school buildings unless they can maintain 6’ of social distance from any other student or staff member and everyone is seated, or are at lunch.
  • Beginning on November 29, wearing face masks in all school buildings will be optional, but recommended, for ALL staff, students, and visitors.
  • Face masks must continue to be worn on school buses by ALL students, bus drivers, and monitors until further action by the U.S. Transportation Department or President. Drivers and monitors are not required to wear face masks when no students are on the bus.

 - Contact Tracing and Quarantining

  • Parents must notify the school if their child tests positive for COVID-19.

  • Students who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to isolate for 10 days as long as the student does not exhibit any symptoms.

    • For purposes of quarantines, “close contact” will be determined as follows:

      • If both individuals are wearing face masks, close contact means they were within 3’ for greater than 30 minutes during the day.

      • If one of neither of the individuals are wearing face masks, close contact means there were within 6' for greater than 30 minutes during the school day.

  • Vaccinated individuals who have a close contact exposure will not be required to quarantine if they are not exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

  • Unvaccinated individuals who have a close contact exposure will be required to quarantine for 10 days from the date of exposure, provided that they are symptom-free. Quarantine may be reduced to 7 days with a negative COVID-19 test taken on day 5 or later. Alternatively, students may opt into the Test to Stay program.  

 - Test to Stay

  • The district will continue the “Test to Stay” program for students and staff who are determined to be a close contact of an individual who tested positive for the COVID-19 virus.

  • Students and staff who opt to participate in the “Test to Stay” program will have the opportunity to avoid quarantine by receiving a negative rapid antigen test each morning before school.

  • Students or staff who opt to participate in the “Test to Stay” program must wear a face mask in school buildings during the testing period. A student or staff member who is observed not wearing a face mask at school during the testing period will be required to complete the remainder of the isolation period out of school.

  • These tests are completely voluntary and will require parental consent for students under the age of 18 years.

 - Visitors and Volunteers

Volunteers must still be approved by the school principal or other school administrator prior to visit.


The Oldham County Board of Education approved a policy requiring masks in school buildings on August 9, 2021. This policy still stands, even with the approval of Senate Bill 1. Masks will continue to be required by all students, staff and visitors inside Oldham County Schools.

Mask Policy passed by the OCBE on August 9, 2021

  1. All employees, contractors, visitors, guests, and students in grades P through 12 must wear a face covering while in school buildings and on school buses whenever social distancing of 6’ cannot be maintained.  
     
  2. All employees, contractors, visitors, guests, and students in grades P through 12 must wear a face covering in school buildings when traveling throughout the common areas of the building, regardless of social distancing.  
     
  3. Masks may be removed or lowered during classroom time if all students and staff are seated 6’ apart and no person is walking around in the classroom. 
     
  4. Masks may be removed or lowered during lunch period. 
     
  5. Students, staff, visitors, and guests having a documented pre-existing medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering may request an exemption from the policy. 
     
  6. Acceptable face coverings must have multiple layers, cover the nose and below the chin, and fit snugly. Face coverings may include cloth masks, surgical masks, respirator masks, bandanas, gaiters, and any similar item meeting the requirements above. Face coverings must meet the same dress code standards as other items of apparel bearing messages (e.g. no lewd or obscene messages, no advertisements for drugs, alcohol or weapons, no messages that are threatening or likely to cause a disruption to the educational process, etc. Please refer to your school dress code.)  
     
  7. This policy will remain in effect until the further action of the Board, which will review the conditions of the COVID pandemic at least once every three (3) weeks. If, in consultation with its advisors, the Board determines that conditions so warrant, the Board will terminate this policy. 
     
  8. The Board’s obligation to review COVID pandemic conditions for purposes of this temporary policy will be suspended during any period in which the school district is subject to a state or federal mask mandate.

     August 9, 2021

Mask policy update - August 9, 2021

  • Masks are required for all persons while indoors and on school buses.

    • A driver does not need to wear a mask if they are the only person on the bus. 

 

Mask Policy passed by the OCBE on August 9, 2021

  1. All employees, contractors, visitors, guests, and students in grades P through 12 must wear a face covering while in school buildings and on school buses whenever social distancing of 6’ cannot be maintained.  
     
  2. All employees, contractors, visitors, guests, and students in grades P through 12 must wear a face covering in school buildings when traveling throughout the common areas of the building, regardless of social distancing.  
     
  3. Masks may be removed or lowered during classroom time if all students and staff are seated 6’ apart and no person is walking around in the classroom. 
     
  4. Masks may be removed or lowered during lunch period. 
     
  5. Students, staff, visitors, and guests having a documented pre-existing medical condition or disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering may request an exemption from the policy. 
     
  6. Acceptable face coverings must have multiple layers, cover the nose and below the chin, and fit snugly. Face coverings may include cloth masks, surgical masks, respirator masks, bandanas, gaiters, and any similar item meeting the requirements above. Face coverings must meet the same dress code standards as other items of apparel bearing messages (e.g. no lewd or obscene messages, no advertisements for drugs, alcohol or weapons, no messages that are threatening or likely to cause a disruption to the educational process, etc. Please refer to your school dress code.)  
     
  7. This policy will remain in effect until the further action of the Board, which will review the conditions of the COVID pandemic at least once every three (3) weeks. If, in consultation with its advisors, the Board determines that conditions so warrant, the Board will terminate this policy. 
     
  8. The Board’s obligation to review COVID pandemic conditions for purposes of this temporary policy will be suspended during any period in which the school district is subject to a state or federal mask mandate.
  • We ask that you please notify the school as soon as possible if your child tests positive for COVID-19. The District will examine student absence policies to ensure that students are not penalized for COVID-19 related absences, including student illness and quarantine orders.

  • A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes while the person was considered contagious.  

    • Exception: In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were at least >3 feet away from an infected student if both students were engaged in consistent and correct use of masks and other K-12 prevention strategies were in place. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.

  • Unvaccinated students, teachers, or staff who are identified as close contacts should be instructed to self-quarantine regardless of whether the exposure occurred within or outside of the school setting. Quarantine may be discontinued when the local public health department determines the individual is safe to be around others or:

    • Fully-vaccinated persons do not need to quarantine following an exposure to a person diagnosed with COVID-19 if he/she is not experiencing symptoms.

    • After day 10 without testing if the individual is symptom-free.

    • After day 7 if the individual is symptom-free and receives a negative COVID-19 test 5 days or later after the last date of exposure to the case.

  • Efforts will be focused to ensure as much social distancing as possible when appropriate and feasible, including at lunch, seat time, and other stationary times throughout the day.

  • OCS is fortunate to have heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that have been designed by some of the leading professional engineering firms in the country and are built to exceed ASHRAE standards for energy efficiency and indoor air quality. 

  • OCS implemented additional measures prior to returning to in-person instruction during the 20-21 school year to maximize indoor air quality even further through mechanical dilution and filtration processes. These practices will continue to be utilized for the foreseeable future. 

  • Based on our student population there is not a significant need for virtual-only instruction. The OCS Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) was a necessity during the height of the pandemic, but it was not designed to be an on-going educational entity. There are options for students who are medically fragile. Please contact student services at our district office for more information.

  • It is important to note that NTI for COVID-19 has not been approved by the State of Kentucky for this school year at this time.

  • As we start the school year, we will not be allowing visitors for lunch. This will be reevaluated after the first semester. 

  • Volunteers must be approved by the school principal or other school administrator prior to visit and must wear a mask. 


We encourage all eligible students and staff to get the COVID-19 vaccine and ask that you please keep your student at home if they are showing any symptoms of illness during the school year.

We will continue close communications with the Oldham County Health Department and revise our plan as necessary. If there’s one thing we learned from the last school year, it’s that flexibility and adaptability is key, and we appreciate the cooperation we continue to receive from our families to ensure our students have a successful school year.