2021 COVID UPDATES

2/14/2022:

Parents,

Last week the Fairfax County Health Department (FCHD) released COVID-19 Updates and Guidelines for Early Childhood Facilities.  I would like to keep you up to date with the changes and how they will change our procedures for the rest of the year or until they change them again.  Much of the following is taken verbatim from the guidance so if you have questions, please ask Judi (judi@katydidkids.com). 

We will continue to follow the FCHD recommendation that anyone with COVID-like symptoms be tested and/or receive clearance from a healthcare provider before entering a facility (unless you choose to isolate for 10-days).  This ensures that COVID symptoms are not mistaken for allergies and that someone who is infectious with COVID does not enter the facility.

Isolation (when positive for COVID)

  • Because preschoolers are not able to always comply with the strict tight-fitting mask use when within 6 feet of any other person, all preschoolers must isolate for a full 10 days after symptoms began or date of a positive test if asymptomatic. 
  • Day 1 starts the day AFTER the symptoms appear or a positive test result is received if asymptomatic
  • This is the same regardless of vaccine status.

Quarantine (when in close contact (within 6 feet for a total of 15 minutes or more in any day) with someone diagnosed with COVID)

  • CDC recommends all close contacts get tested 5 days after exposure regardless of vaccination status.
  • Because preschoolers are not able to always comply with the strict tight-fitting mask use when within 6 feet of any other person, all preschoolers must isolate for a full 10 days after being in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID.  Day 1 starts the day AFTER the last day of exposure.
  • Any child who had a positive COVID test within the prior 90 days to exposure does not need to quarantine if they are asymptomatic. 
  • Vaccination exceptions – any child who has completed their primary vaccine series (2 Pfizer or 2 Moderna or 1 Johnson & Johnson) at least 14 days before exposure does NOT have to quarantine. Director must review vaccine card.

Quarantine guidance for continuously exposed Household Cases:

  • A close contact to a household case is considered continuously exposed for the first 5 days of the case’s isolation period.  The contact’s quarantine timeline would start on Day 6 of the case’s isolation period (the contact must quarantine when notified of the exposure, but their quarantine Day 1 would start on the Case’s Day 6) If the case can completely isolate themselves from the household contacts, then the contact’s quarantine begins the day after their last day of exposure to the case.

Guidelines for when student is a contact of a family member who has been named as a close contact:

  • There are no restrictions on a contact of a close contact.  If the Close Contact develops symptoms or tests positive, the student must immediately start quarantine.

Testing:

  • No changes- we do not accept home test results but any test from a Health professional is accepted, including Rapid tests

Negative tests or clearance letters from the FCHD are no longer required to return to school after Isolation or Quarantine.  After the 10-day period, children may return to school:

  • As long as any symptoms occurring during isolation have resolved
  • Isolation ends after day 10 even if tests remain positive
  • Any child returning from quarantine must be symptom-free

The FCHD will no longer be notified of any single COVID case in a school setting.  They also will not investigate or communicate with close contacts from that case.  They recommend that COVID cases notify any close contacts of their COVID status and the need to quarantine.  FCHD will only be notified if there is an Outbreak (3 cases in any one class) within 14 days. 

Updates on Mask Mandates:

  • Public health professionals strongly recommend the use of masking for all students and staff during High and Substantial community transmission.
  • Fairfax County Park Authority still has a mask requirement inside any FCPA building.
  • Virginia Department of Health states that Executive Order 2 from the governor does not apply to Early Childhood Centers
  • Virginia State Bill 739 does not apply to Early Childhood Centers

Travel on public transportation:

  • We continue to enforce our policy of testing after 5 days after travel on public transportation

Multi-layered COVID-19 prevention Strategies remain in place for Early Childhood Centers:

  • Consistent and Correct mask use with mask always covering nose and mouth
  • Physical Distancing and Cohorting (we keep classes separate during school hours, but parents should prevent mixing with other classes after school hours outside the school)
  • Screening for symptoms and exposure before allowing entry
  • Staying home when sick and getting tested
  • Ventilation
  • Promoting vaccination for those eligible
  • Handwashing and respiratory etiquette
  • Cleaning and maintaining healthy facilities

If you have any questions about our COVID policies, please contact me at 703-689-3104 or Judi@katydidkids.com

Judi Edmondson

Katydid Preschool Director

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January 24, 2022: Katydid Preschool Parents,

This letter is to inform you that although the official CDC Early Childhood guidance still lists a 14-day quarantine period, we are updating our COVID policies regarding quarantine rules.  Based on information received from licensing and current information from the CDC regarding the OMNICRON variant of COVID, (the latest dated January 20, 2022), our new COVID quarantine/return to school rules for students will be:

Students may return to school (with no symptoms) after 7 days of quarantine after being exposed to someone who tests positive for COVID.  Students must have a negative test result after day 5. This is because the CDC has updated information about the period that a person with the OMNICRON variant is contagious or the time it takes for this variant to appear.

For example, this would be the case if a student in your child’s classroom tested positive or if your child had a single exposure to another COVID-positive person, not in the case of “Ongoing COVID-19 Exposure”. 

Reminder, we do NOT take home-test results.  Results must be from a medical professional.

Ongoing COVID-19 Exposure: If a member of your family household is the person who tested positive for COVID that your student was exposed to, they fall into the category of “Ongoing COVID-19 Exposure”.  In this case, if the person who is positive is not separated from the rest of the family, the other members are repeatedly exposed until that person in no longer able to spread the virus to other people. If the infected person can isolate completely (stay in a room and bathroom not used by the rest of the family and not be in common space) then it would not be considered ongoing exposure and the above COVID quarantine/return to school rule applies. For ongoing exposure (sibling or parent sharing room, eating, or interacting with family) CDC recommends that:

  • The entire family wear a well-fitting mask inside the home
  • If possible, one person should care for the person with COVID to limit the number of people who are in close contact with the infected person
  • If you are not fully vaccinated for COVID-19:
    • You must begin quarantine immediately and continue to quarantine throughout the 10-day isolation period of the person with COVID
    • Continue to quarantine for an additional 5 days starting the day after the end of isolation for the person with COVID
    • Get tested at least 5 days after the end of the 10-day isolation period of the infected person that lives with you.
    • Isolate immediately if you develop symptoms or test positive.

Return to school after Ongoing COVID-19 exposure will be 10 days after the infected person developed symptoms or tested positive PLUS 7 days quarantine with a negative test after the 5th day of those 7 days.

Because we are an Early Childhood Center, we will not be relaxing the rules as much as the public or K-12 rules documented by the Health Department and Public School systems.  Early Childhood Centers are working with a population which is almost entirely unvaccinated unlike the public and K-12 schools.  Also, many children do not have tightly fitted masks and as a result, masks slide down exposing their noses.  We are constantly reminding children to pull up their masks and adjusting the nose and earpieces to make them fit snuggly.  

If we receive further information/guidance our policies may be updated again in the future.

Thank you,

Judi Edmondson

Katydid Preschool Director

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10/21/2021: Over the last few weeks, we have had to turn several children away or send them home because they arrived at school with a runny nose or other COVID symptom. The Fairfax Department of Health requires us to deny entry to any child with any of the COVID symptoms.  Fairfax DOH also requires that we receive either a doctor’s note or Negative COVID test result before any child can return after having any one of these symptoms. If your child has any of the below symptoms, DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL.  Make sure your spouse or other caregiver is also aware of our rules if they bring or pick-up your child. Sending sick children to school could infect other children and staff resulting in the class(es) having to be shutdown or cancelled for a length of time determined by the DOH.  Our staff follows the same rules, so if the teacher gets any of the symptoms, they get a COVID test or note from the doctor prior to returning to school.  We also have some immune-compromised children in the school.  Remember, the children are not vaccinated.  These policies are in place to protect all children, the staff as well as your entire family. So if your child develops any symptoms, get a COVID test or see your doctor to get a note clearing your child to return to school.

People developing any these symptoms may have COVID-19 and are not allowed in school:

  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

COVID Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms.

Prior to beginning preschool this fall, all Parents should have reviewed and signed the Fall 2021 Parent COVID Agreement. Please refer to that document or call us with questions.

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We are currently reviewing new COVID guidance for the fall. Check back soon for COVID updates for Fall 2021 Preschool.

We can say that children and staff will be required to wear masks. Parents will also be required to wear masks while in the dropoff and pickup line.

Social distancing will be practiced to the extent possible.

Class start/end times will be staggered by 15 minutes to limit the number of people at checkin/pickup.

All classes will meet for 2 1/2 hours. Snack has been removed from the class schedule due to the increased risks of not having children in masks and the fact that only a few children can sit at a table at the same time. The snack process usually takes 30+ minutes by the time the tables and chairs are cleaned and sanitized, all children wash their hands, snacks are distributed, snacks are opened, hands are re-washed and tables and chairs are cleaned and sanitized again per Virginia DSS regulations. Removing snack therefore adds an extra 15-30 minutes to class activities.

Preschool checkin and pickup will be done at the Schoolhouse doors.

We will adapt activities to our outdoor classrooms as much as possible.