The email below was shared with P-H-M staff and families the evening of Feb. 17, 2022.
Dear P-H-M Families,
The past few days have been full of changes, as things with COVID have been from the very beginning.
Monday the P-H-M Board of School Trustees voted to go mask optional. I shared with you on Tuesday that per the Indiana Department of Health guidelines contact tracing and conditional masking would continue.
Today, I’m sharing with you that the IDOH held a webinar for schools regarding COVID protocols that can be removed starting Wednesday, February 23. Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Kristina Box stated schools that have already begun the transition and are able to implement optional masking and other changes can do so immediately and do not have to wait until Feb. 23rd.
When P-H-M students and staff return to school, the procedures listed below will be followed per the IDOH recommendations made today:
- Schools are no longer required to contact trace or quarantine.
- If schools are made aware of a positive case, notification is no longer required to staff and families.
- Schools do not need to report any COVID-19 case information to IDOH; both the Indiana and School dashboards will be discontinued. The P-H-M COVID Positive Dashboard will also soon be discontinued.
- Schools should continue to isolate positive individuals for at least 5 days per CDC.
- Schools should notify their local health department and distribute exposure notification when there is a cluster of positive COVID-19 cases or an outbreak.
- Schools should notify their local health department when absenteeism reaches 10% for COVID-like illness or when schools are concerned about the level of illness.
- If an individual tests positive, they should stay home and isolate from others for at least 5 full days.
- People who are in isolation may return to school on day 6 as long as they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications and symptoms have improved.
- They should wear a mask when around others at home, in public and at school for days 6-10.
- A negative test or doctor’s note is no longer required to return to school.
As a result, we have also updated our Health & Safety Plan. We are asking all staff and families to please review the updated plan and familiarize yourself with the changes. Many mitigation safety measures will remain in place such as increased ventilation, promotion of hand hygiene, sanitation and increased cleaning.
Thank you for your continued support and cooperation.
Dr. Jerry Thacker, Superintendent of Schools