Our best defense against the spread of Covid-19 is staying home when ill or symptomatic with Covid-like ailments. At school, social distancing, hand washing, and enhanced ventilation is in place to the extent possible. During times of high community transmission, schools may limit access to shared spaces (such as lunchrooms) and larger group gatherings.
All diocesan schools require students and employees experiencing Covid-like symptoms to remain at home until no longer symptomatic and Covid-19 infection is ruled out. Parents are notified of exposures and quarantines may be enforced.
A close contact is any individual who was within 6’ of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period of time.
The CDC provides this exception to the K-12 indoor classroom setting:
Students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student are not considered close contacts if both the infected individual and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to adults.
The appropriate faculty and staff member(s) assist administrators or designees with contact-tracing to determine when and if students may have been exposed to another individual who tested positive for Covid-19. Teachers often keep logs of seating charts and group assignments for this reason. Anonymity of individuals experiencing illness is protected.
When close contacts of students and employees are identified, the school will alert parents and advise them to monitor symptoms and next steps to return to school.
Any person residing in the home with another infected person must complete the appropriate quarantine per the CDC guidelines. We encourage the 10-day quarantine but work with parents desiring the shorter period (5 days) if the student is asymptomatic and dutifully masks the following five days.
Close contacts of an infected person outside the home are advised to seek medical advice to determine when to return to school. CDC Guidance for Quarantines Close contacts may only return to school if asymptomatic.
We encourage students or employees who tested positive for Covid-19 to isolate for a full ten days, with the option of returning on day 7 with a negative test (taken day 5 or later). New CDC guidance suggests individuals may return to school after five days if symptoms have cleared, but must wear a well-fitted mask for another five days.
The Diocese of Nashville encourages parents and employees to determine whether the Covid-19 vaccination is beneficial for their children and themselves, in consultation with their healthcare provider. The Church supports the use of the FDA-approved vaccinations, including those with Emergency Use Authorized (EUA) status, in what Pope Francis calls an act of love to support the common good of community health.