The COVID-19 pandemic is constantly changing. In order to help families have current information, this page will be updated as information changes. Please check back here for updated information.
Update: November 2021
Thanksgiving Recommendations - Pima County Health Department
If you haven’t yet, begin the vaccination process, your family could be fully vaccinated by Christmas!
Wash hands frequently
Mask around people who are unknown to you, unvaccinated, or unknown vaccination status
Celebrate outdoors, if possible
Consider rapid testing before attending gatherings
Additional K-12 school recommendations are attached to this email for you to review.
Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).
Our school community has remained healthy during the pandemic. There have been zero reported cases on the physical school campus! This is due to the combined efforts of our families and faculty. We continue to practice our mitigation strategies including social distancing and frequent hand-washing. Please continue to help keep our community healthy by keeping children home when a child or household member is ill.
IN-PERSON LEARNING: Students benefit both socially and academically from in-person learning. Therefore, safely returning to in-person instruction is priority. It is, therefore, critical that all parents/guardians abide by their school’s protocol and strong recommendations, especially regarding vaccinations and mask-wearing.
VACCINATIONS: Vaccinations are currently the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, vaccinations of those who qualify and are able is highly recommended. The more a school population is vaccinated, the lower the chance of transmission among children and adults who cannot be vaccinated. Even if an individual expresses they do not need a vaccination or are outright choosing to not be vaccinated, unless it is for medical reasons, they should be strongly encouraged to get a vaccination as an act of charity toward those vulnerable children and adults.
MASKS: In addition to vaccinations, the wearing of masks is among the primary mitigation strategies to decrease the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, all visitors, faculty, staff, and students 5 years or older should wear masks indoors unless medical or developmental conditions prohibit their useregardless of vaccination status. We will continue to adhere to diocesan guidance on social distancing in the classroom. In general, people do not need to wear masks when outdoors. However, CDC recommends that people who are not fully vaccinated wear a mask in crowded outdoor settings or during activities that involve sustained close contact with other people who are not fully vaccinated. OMOS determines layered mitigation protocol , to include a policy on masking while indoors on campus, based on the following criteria:
Current COVID data in Pima County, in particular the percent positivity rate and transmission level
Consultation with the Pima County Health Department
Consideration of what other districts and private schools in our region have in place for mitigation
School board, and consulting with the Department of Catholic Schools
SOCIAL DISTANCING: It is recommended that student desks/individual workspaces be at least 3 feet apart. A distance of at least 6 feet is recommended between students and teachers/staff, and between teachers/ staff who are not fully vaccinated (CDC, 2021). OMOS seeks to comply with guidelines for lunchroom seating as well as for instruction and play. Students, family members, employees and community members should physically distance at least 6 feet for: School registrations, Clubs and after school functions and gatherings, Community gatherings, Indoor Sporting events COHORTING STUDENTS:Given the increased transmissibility of the COVID Delta variant, OMOS cohorts as much as we are able. This reduces the number of those needing to quarantine should there be a positive case within a class or cohort. SPORTS: Tucson Elementary Sports: This program will follow Pima County Health guidelines.
COVID-19 SYMPTOMS: Students and staff should remain at home and away from school if they are experiencing any symptoms including fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches, or fatigue. Exceptions would be for chronic asthma, allergies, or other diagnoses on file that exhibit similar symptoms which will be particular to each individual.
CLOSE CONTACT:Per CDC guidance, close contacts are identified as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person (laboratory-confirmed or clinically compatible illness) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period (for example, three individual 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes). An infected person can spread SARS-CoV-2 starting from 2 days before they have any symptoms (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days before the positive specimen collection date), until they meet criteria for discontinuing home isolation.” (CDC, Aug. 5, 2021) * CDC does provide an exception “In the K-12 indoor classroom setting, the close contact definition excludes students who were within 3 to 6 feet of an infected student (laboratory-confirmed or clinically compatible illness) if both the infected student and the exposed student(s) correctly and consistently wore well-fitting masks the entire time. This exception does not apply to teachers, staff, or other adults in the indoor classroom setting.” (CDC, Aug. 5, 2021) * *Subject to change with updated CDC guidance