Dear CH-UH Families,
We have received some questions recently regarding COVID-19 protocols, reporting, and planning in the District. I’d like to take the opportunity to address those questions below by topic.
Positive class notifications at the classroom level
Beginning on Wednesday, September 15, the District will send email notifications to families when their child has a classmate, a teacher, or has ridden a bus with a student who has tested positive for COVID-19. We have learned over the past few weeks that families would like to know this information, and we wish to honor that request. It’s important to note that receiving this email does not necessarily mean that your child was in close contact with the person who has tested positive. School-wide email notifications of positive cases will also continue.
Definitions of contacts
A close contact in a classroom or school bus setting is:
Anyone within 3 feet of the person who tested positive for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period, regardless of mask usage.
Anyone within 3-6 feet of the case for a cumulative 15 minutes or more in a 24 hour period if the contact was not correctly and consistently wearing a mask OR if the school does not have COVID-19 prevention protocols in place.
A close contact in a sports or extracurricular setting is:
Not all close contacts have to quarantine. Factors that determine quarantine decisions include vaccination status, mask wearing, social distancing, etc. The District refers to this flowchart from the Ohio Department of Health for case-by-case guidance.
What to do if you suspect your child has COVID-19
If your child is symptomatic or if you suspect that they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, keep them home from school. If your child is exhibiting symptoms, call their doctor. Your child’s pediatrician will offer helpful advice on care and how to get tested. This Ohio Department of Health webpage contains a searchable database of testing locations. Contact your child’s school nurse with any questions.
What to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19
If your child tests positive for COVID-19, you should contact their school within 24 hours of receiving the positive test. The school will then initiate contact tracing and advise you of next steps. It’s important for building leaders to be aware of all positive cases for the sake of the health & safety of our school community.
School closures due to COVID-19 case numbers
Factors to consider for school or classroom closure include case clusters (if a school has multiple, connected cases), a significant number of staff absences, and/or a recommendation from the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, which works in partnership with districts to track cases. In the event of a temporary closure due to COVID-19, the school and/or District will revert to remote learning, similar to the previous system that we have used.
Vaccine opportunity Saturday, September 18
MetroHealth is hosting a COVID-19 vaccine clinic for CH-UH students, families, and staff on Saturday, September 18 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cleveland Heights MetroHealth Pharmacy, 10 Severance Circle. Anyone 12 and older can receive the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine; walk-ins are welcome. There will also be food and giveaways for attendees.
We fully understand the anxiety you might feel due to the pandemic when sending your children to school. I hope that this has helped provide some clarity and reassurance. Thank you for your partnership as we work each day to ensure a comfortable and safe learning environment for all.
Superintendent Liz Kirby