COVID-19 Safety for the Holidays
As we approach Thanksgiving and the Christmas season, we are experiencing a resurgence of COVID-19 in our communities. Coupled with seasonal flu, the next few months will be quite challenging. This is not the time to let down our guard with infection control measures.
I want to stress the importance of taking care of yourself and following the infection control procedures of the Diocese of Allentown’s Pandemic Plan. Frequent handwashing/hand sanitizing, wearing masks, social distancing, staying home when you feel sick, monitoring your temperature and eliminating unnecessary travel can help mitigate the flu and COVID-19.
Since many of the symptoms of COVID-19 are similar to the seasonal flu, it is important to contact your physician or health care practitioner if you are feeling sick or were exposed to COVID-19. They can assess your risk factors and determine if you need to be tested for COVID-19. If a test is needed, please follow their instructions for obtaining a test.
The Pennsylvania Department of Health issued new guidance on November 17, 2020, regarding travel and the wearing of masks. Travel outside of Pennsylvania is not recommended at this time. If you must travel, you are expected to quarantine for 14 days or test negative for COVID-19 upon your return to Pennsylvania. This does not apply to employees who commute from, or seek medical treatment in, a bordering state.
Additionally, if you participate in a high-risk activity, whether it is in Pennsylvania or out of state, it is expected that you follow the same guidelines of quarantining for 14 days afterwards or having a COVID-19 test. High risk activities may include larger gatherings where social distancing guidelines are not consistently followed. Contact your physician or health care practitioner for guidance, including when and where to obtain a COVID-19 test.
The updated mask mandate requires mask-wearing indoors and outdoors if you are away from your home. Masks must be worn indoors even if you are physically distant from non-family members. Masks must be worn in school when another staff/student is present and when you are walking through common areas of the building.
Continue to sanitize frequently touched surfaces, such as telephones, desks/tables, doorknobs, light switches and shared appliances/electronics. All offices should keep an adequate supply of disinfecting sprays and maintain proper cleaning protocols.
Following the recommendations in the Pandemic Plan can help prevent infection among our families. Please notify the Principal or school office in the event of any potential COVID-19 exposure or travel outside of the area. Your full cooperation is appreciated.