November 11, 2020
Dear Members of the HUUSD Community:
On Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020 we learned about an adult at HUMS/HUHS with Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the school community. We recommend that you take action to help limit the spread of COVID-19, even if your child is not experiencing symptoms. Please answer the phone if the Health Department contacts you. The number may not be familiar to you and does not come up as VDH. A contact tracer may be trying to reach you with important information.
Harwood Union grades 7-12 will go into fully remote learning Thursday 11/12 and Friday 11/13 out of an abundance of caution and to give the contact tracers adequate time to complete their work. We will thoroughly clean the building and determine what if any further steps are warranted before Monday. All athletic events will be cancelled on 11/12 and 11/13. The HUMS/HUHS administration will put out additional information for their students and families.
All other campuses will remain open, following their usual schedules. If your child attends Harwood Middle School or High School on Thursday and Fridays and you now need to sign up for meals please visit our website and fill our google form food.huusd.org. You can choose the most convenient location for pick up, just like on any other remote day. We ask that you sign up asap so each site can plan your meal in the morning.
Here is what I can tell you thus far:
We were notified late this morning of 1 adult positive COVID case at HUMS/HUHS.
Step 1 is for the administration to complete the line list to give to the Vermont Department of Health (VDH). That list is finished and contains approximately 40 potential close contacts.
School personnel will contact those 40 families to alert them that they may receive a call from VDH contact tracers. VDH determines who the close contacts are from the information the district provides. The district will complete our calls/contacts as soon as possible but hopefully by 12:00 tomorrow. What do I do if I am a close contact?
We recommend that if you get a call from the school district and until you are cleared by VDH, which could take a couple of days, that you lay low and self quarantine.
Absenteeism of staff and students was notably up on Monday and Tuesday this week at HUMS/HUHS.
COVID positive numbers are climbing statewide and in Washington County.
Any person determined to be a close contact who wants to get tested cannot do so until Monday, Nov. 16th based on the infectious period.
What is COVID-19?
A new coronavirus causes COVID-19, which is an illness that was discovered in 2019. Coronaviruses are a type of virus that are named for the crown-like spikes on their surface. There are many kinds of coronaviruses including some that cause respiratory illnesses, like the common cold. The specific symptoms of COVID-19 include, fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.
How does COVID-19 spread?
COVID-19 spreads mainly from having close contact with someone who has a COVID-19 infection. The virus is thought to spread by droplets from person to person when they speak, cough, or sneeze. Droplets travel less than 6 feet. When droplets from another person get in your mouth or nose you can inhale into your lungs. This virus can be spread by people without symptoms.
How can parents and guardians help prevent COVID-19 from spreading?
If your child is sick, keep them home. Call your primary care provider if you or your child have symptoms of COVID-19.
Make sure members of your household wash their hands often using soap and water for 20 seconds.
Wear a mask in public when you cannot stay 6 feet apart from other people.
Make sure every member of your household covers their coughs and sneezes with a tissue or their elbow, and then washes their hands afterwards.
Follow the new travel guidance: As of Tuesday, November 10, a mandatory quarantine has been implemented for anyone returning to Vermont. Anyone traveling outside of Vermont for non-essential reasons will need to quarantine for 14 days. Please review the definition of essential travel and quarantine by the Vermont Department of Health and Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
We are working with the Health Department to keep our community safe.
We continue to follow processes in the Strong and Healthy Start: Guidance for Vermont Schools.
We have cleaned and disinfected the affected spaces per the Health Department guidance.
Employees and sick children will not return to work until they are healthy.
Learn more about getting tested in Vermont.
No one who was in close contact with the staff member can be tested prior to Monday, November 16.
Staff and students who are identified as close contacts will need to quarantine for 7 days and have a COVID-19 Negative test result before returning to school
If they choose not to be tested, they should be out for 14 days.
Below are the dates of the clinics that are upcoming:
11/16 Barre City Auditorium Barre 16 Auditorium Hill
11/16 Winooski Armory Winooski 255 LaFountain St.
11/17 Burlington Health District Office Burlington 108 Cherry St.
11/18 Morrisville - Northgate Plaza Morrisville 65 Northgate Plaza (next to Laundry Center)
11/18 Williston Armory Williston 7846 Williston Rd.
11/19 Barre City Auditorium Barre 16 Auditorium Hill
Thank you for understanding that, due to medical privacy laws, we are not able to release the names of the individuals with COVID-19. We will continue to communicate changes and updates with you. With your participation, we believe we can continue to provide a safe and positive learning experience.