On August 10, 2022, Vermont Secretary of Education Dan French and Vermont Commissioner of Health Mark Levine issued guidance on managing COVID-19 in schools for the 2022-2023 school year.
That guidance states, “The Agency of Education and the Department of Health want to acknowledge the compassion and hard work school nurses have demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic. School nurses have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to keep students healthy. As the pandemic evolved, so did our knowledge about COVID-19 and our mitigation strategies. We implemented testing and return-to-school policies and helped thousands of children access COVID-19 vaccines despite the constant emergence of new SARS-CoV-2 variants. Throughout it all, school nurses were pillars in the community, and continue to lead the way for school health and safety. School nurses established strong, enduring partnerships and collaborative teams with pediatric medical homes in your communities. As we begin to think of COVID-19 as an endemic disease, we once again need to shift our thinking. COVID-19, like the flu, is now a part of our lives. At the end of the 2021/2022 school year, testing was still an important strategy in the fight against COVID-19. Prior to the summer break, antigen and LAMP tests were distributed to public and independent schools in anticipation of the upcoming school year. For the upcoming school year, our approach to testing will be a bit different.”
The guidance says that a student or staff member experiencing mild symptoms should go to the school nurse to determine the steps they should take, such as testing for COVID-19. Anyone not well enough to participate in class will be sent home and may return when they are well. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 should follow the Vermont Department of Health’s isolation guidance.
The letter issued by the Agency of Education recommends that all students and staff stay up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccinations. It also encourages frequent handwashing or the use of hand sanitizer. It also states that antigen and LAMP tests should be reserved for those experiencing symptoms and will be used based on the school nurse’s determination. When appropriate, tests may be used in school or sent home.
The HUUSD’s website says, “The Harwood Unified Union School District continues to carefully review all COVID-19 guidance from both the state of Vermont and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The school district will update information as necessary and share relevant updates with all of the families in the school district on a periodic basis.”
Questions regarding HUUSD COVID-19 policy can be directed to each school’s nurse.