- Springfield Public Schools
The most recent COVID-19 variant, Omicron, has been identified as spreading throughout our local area, and as we return to in-person learning following this winter break we want to remind and reassure all that our strong mitigation measures are still in place. These health measures are our strongest tools to help minimize the spread and further disruption to learning.
What can you expect to see at schools during this Omicron surge?
Springfield schools will continue all of our well-established strategies – hand hygiene promotion, enhanced ventilation and air filtration, promotion and enforcement of masking, social distancing to the extent possible, and effective contact tracing.
From the onset of the pandemic, SPS has worked closely with our health authority partners to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and apply appropriate response strategies. Moving into this next phase we will continue this process and look to the health experts for direction on any potential additional mitigation strategies. It is our desire to approach this on a school by school basis as much as possible to limit additional disruption to learning.
What can families do to help ensure in-person learning continues and reduce the amount of COVID-19 spread in our schools and communities?
Get vaccinated. Vaccines against COVID-19 are available and recommended for everyone age 5 and older. Booster shots are recommended and available for everyone age 16 and older and are expected to be expanded to ages 12 – 15 in the coming days. For information on vaccinations, and clinic times visit Lane County Public Health
Keep it close. Limit social gathering to those in your household to the greatest extent possible, maintain social distance when around others, avoid crowds and practice good hand hygiene.
Up your mask game. Make sure it fits and wear it correctly. Consider moving from a cloth mask to a 3-ply medical grade mask; or better yet, a KN95 mask. Take a moment to make sure your children are wearing a well-fitted mask. Add additional masks to backpacks to have a backup in case masks get wet, dirty or damaged.
Check for wellness every day. Students and staff who are experiencing the following symptoms are expected to stay home:
- Fever of 100.4 or higher
- Shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing
- New loss of taste or smell
- Muscle or body aches
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
Get tested. We want to remind families not to assume a mild respiratory illness is a routine “cold”; test for COVID-19. Although COVID-19 is usually mild in children and vaccinated individuals, there are risks of serious illness and if not isolated they can contribute to community transmission.
Routine screening testing is available from community partners and can help catch cases and keep them from spreading. You can sign up for weekly screening testing through your school or find other testing options in Lane County.
Additional measures schools are implementing to mitigate the spread of COVID-19
SPS will continue to report positive cases on our COVID-19 dashboard and our contracting team is hard at work preforming case investigations and identifying close contacts of positive cases. Healthy, masked students and staff who are exposed to someone with COVID-19 may also be eligible to take part in our Test to Stay Program, set to begin later this month, which allows for shortened quarantines in some circumstances.
Thank you for doing what you can to help us slow the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and local community.
NOTE: While the CDC recently announced new guidelines to shorten the length of quarantines and isolations, at this time, our quarantine and isolation guidelines remain unchanged. We follow the guidance from the Oregon Department of Education, Oregon Health Authority and our local public health agency.