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1/28/21 Hallowell COVID-19 Closure
We have learned that today, January 28, 2021, one member of the Hallowell school community is presumed positive for COVID-19. The individual is a student.
The student, a kindergartner, last attended school on Friday, January 22. Contact tracing suggests that the exposure to COVID-19 occurred outside of the school setting. The student is currently at home and under a doctor’s care.
Additionally, this case put us at the number of cases in the past two weeks that necessitates a building closure as determined by the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Effective tomorrow Friday, January 29, 2021, the school building will be closed to all staff and students. This closure includes all regular school activities, extracurricular activities, childcare programs, and community events scheduled at the building. Also, just a reminder that there is no school for students tomorrow, January 29 as this is a professional development day for teachers. This closure will continue until Sunday, January 31, 2021. The building will reopen on Monday, February 1, 2021.
We are collaborating with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) and following their established protocols. MCOPH is working with our school nurses to contact individuals who may be considered close contacts. Those close contacts identified will be excluded from school, extracurricular activities if applicable, and asked to quarantine for 10 days following this exposure. The school will also take additional steps to intensify cleaning and disinfecting as needed.
Any student or staff member who was in direct, close contact with the student has already received independent communication from MCOPH and/or school district officials. If you have not received that communication, your child(ren) did not have direct contact with the student or staff member while at school. MCOPH will be conducting additional contact tracing and will notify families if anyone had direct contact outside of school.
Close contacts (as defined by interactions within 6 feet for a minimum of 15 minutes) to a positive COVID-19 case are required to quarantine for 10 days and will receive a separate notification from Contact Tracers from the MCOPH. Families of these students should monitor for symptoms. Watch for fever (100.4° F), cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. If these symptoms develop, contact your physician, and get tested for COVID-19. Click on this LINK to access a map-based webpage that shows the locations of testing sites in Montgomery County that are open to the public and do not require a doctor’s referral.
Contact our school nurse if your child develops symptoms or is being tested for COVID-19. A child with symptoms of COVID-19 or who is being tested for COVID-19 should stay home and follow the Montgomery County Office of Public Health’s recommendations and directions for Isolation and Quarantine.
All students and families are reminded that they should be regularly checking for symptoms of COVID-19. It is vital that we all do what we can to protect the safety of the entire Hatboro-Horsham Community. The health and safety of our school community is our highest priority, and we recognize the uncertainty and concern regarding coronavirus. Be assured that we are following guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as our state and local health departments for best practices and procedures to protect everyone’s health.
Scott T. Eveslage, Ed.D.
Hatboro-Horsham School District