February 16, 2022
Dear Barrington Staff, Families, Students, and Community,
The Re-entry team met on 2/14/2022 and began to look at opportunities for reductions in some of the COVID mitigation measures that are currently in place. As you are aware, the mask mandate will be lifted by the Governor on March 4th and districts will be allowed to develop and implement practices and policies around masking and connected procedures, such as contact tracing.
The Re-Entry team has determined that, based on available data about the significantly lower risk of transmission outside, it is possible to make two immediate changes prior to March 4th:
Masks will be optional for any outdoor activity, including recess, lunch, physical education, or outdoor breaks
Contact tracing will not be performed for recess, breaks, physical education, or lunch that occur outdoors
In addition to the two immediate changes outlined above, the Re-Entry Team has made the following recommendations to be considered as of March 4th using metrics that will be shared with the entire community:
Opportunities for Moving to Masks Recommended but Optional
The team will develop and share a decision chart based on various metrics, including infection rates by school, that will be communicated to the community.
Schools who fall into low infection zones, as noted in the metrics-based decision-chart, will be able to allow for masks recommended but optional
Mandatory Mask Wearing - Conditions that require continued masking
Required on all buses and public transportation in accordance with state and federal guidelines
Required for close contacts
Until the date of the test, based on the status of vaccination or booster and location of close contact (i.e. inside the home or school).
Close Contact Not in the Home AND infection rates are above the blue section on the metrics to be shared.
Not boosted (if eligible) or Not Vaccinated: Quarantine for 5 days and test to re-enter. Mask for 10 days from date of exposure
Boosted OR Vaccinated and not Eligible for Booster: No quarantine, test 5 days after exposure. Mask for 10 days from the date of exposure.
Close contact Not in the Home AND infection rates are in the blue section of the metrics to be provided
No quarantine or test after exposure.
Mask for 10 days from the date of exposure.
Close Contact in the Home
Not boosted (if eligible) or Not Vaccinated: Quarantine for 5 days and test to re-enter. Mask for 10 days from the date of exposure.
Boosted or Vaccinated and not Eligible for Booster: No quarantine, test 5 days after exposure. Mask for 10 days from the date of exposure.
Required for people with positive tests who test negative on day 6/are eligible to return; must be worn for full 10 days from infectious period (see #3 below)
Reduction of COVID Positive Quarantine for Students. Please note, this strategy is already in place for adults.
Students who are positive, but are vaccinated, will have the option to test to return on day 6 if they are symptom-free. Parents will need to bring their child in for testing and wait or obtain a test at an official testing center.
If their Rapid Antigen is negative, they may return to school on day 6 and wear their mask through day 10.
If their Rapid Antigen is positive, they will quarantine and return on day 11.
Additional decision points and criteria are continuing to be discussed. The team will reconvene before March 4 to adjust protocols related to contact tracing, testing, and distancing which will be impacted by the practices outlined above. Please note that, where referenced, all masks should be quality, well-fitted masks.
Each week, the schools will publish the rate of vaccination, rate of infection, and announce masking protocols on Fridays, beginning on March 4th for the following week. The purpose of the weekly review is to be prepared in the event of an outbreak, spike, or introduction of a new variant. Based on projections, the team feels relatively confident that masks recommended but optional will be the standard protocol for the foreseeable future once the community and school rates are lower.
We wish you and your families an enjoyable and safe vacation week. We highly recommend testing prior to your return on February 25, 2022 to avoid a post vacation spike in our schools. If you have not submitted your child’s vaccination card, please consider doing so, to allow us to increase opportunities for routines and rituals that were in place prior to the pandemic. Your child’s nurse is available to accept your proof of vaccination materials.
The Re-Entry Team
Andrew Anderson Gina Bae Dave Burrows James Callahan Edward Daft Paula Dillon Megan Douglas Benjamin Fillo Douglas Fiore Denise Flores Glum, Matthew Leonard Parker Lee-Ann Markowski Kristen Matthes Michael Messore OConnor, Lisa Dennis Perry Gino Sangiuliano