Tonight (Monday, January 11, 2021) the Penn-Harris-Madison Board of School Trustees passed two resolutions pertaining to COVID-19.
The first Board Resolution dealt with the length of quarantine time for students and staff identified as close contacts. After consulting with the St. Joseph County Department of Health, the Resolution for Reducing Quarantines from 14 to 10 days allows P-H-M Administration to reduce the quarantine period from 14 days to 10 days for staff and students consistent with the CDC’s revised recommendations for quarantine periods.
The revised guidelines state close contacts who have been exposed should quarantine at home for a minimum of 10 days after the last date of exposure to the positive case. Effective January 12, 2021, P-H-M students or staff identified as close contacts may return after 10 days IF they meet the following criteria:
- are symptom-free and they continue to self-monitor
- wear a mask 100% of the time
- follow ALL COVID safety protocols
Otherwise, the employee or student must quarantine for 14 days.
The Indiana Department of Health has provided these useful tools to help parents and staff figure out quarantine and isolation time periods:
- When to Quarantine Guide
- When to Isolate Guide
- School Attendance Quick Refrence Guide
- COVID-19 in Indiana Frequently Asked Questions & Answers
- Screening Guide
For P-H-M employees or students who start a quarantine period beginning January 12, 2021, the quarantine period will be 10 days, not 14 days. Employees or students who started their quarantine period prior to January 12th and were told that the quarantine period was 14 days, and are still in their quarantine period, will be informed that they are now allowed to return to work or school any time after the expiration of the 10th day of quarantine if they are able. If they are not able to, they will be allowed to complete the 14-day quarantine period.
The second Board Resolution adopted at the Jan. 11 Board Meeting is an extension of the essential provisions of Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which was enacted by the U.S. Congress last Spring and expired December 31, 2020. Under FFCRA, employees who missed scheduled work days for certain specific reasons related to COVID-19, would be eligible to be paid up to 10 days, separate from the sick days that an employer might normally provide for its employees. P-H-M called these COVID days.
FFCRA and the federal requirement to provide this benefit expired at the end of the year 2020. The Board Resolution for Additional Leave Due to COVID-19 will extend the time that P-H-M staff can receive up to a maximum of 10 COVID days from January 4, 2021 through the end 2020-21 school year.