2/1/21 Simmons COVID-19 Alert

Dear Simmons Elementary School Families,

We have learned that on January 31st, a staff member in our school community has tested positive for COVID-19.  The first-grade teacher last attended school on January 28th.  Contact tracing suggests that the exposure to COVID-19 occurred outside the school setting. This person 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. However, in consultation with the Montgomery County Office of Public Health, we will utilize the current weather-related building closure to meet our three-day closure requirement from Saturday, January 30th through Monday, February 1st.  Because of the winter weather conditions, the school district will be closed on Tuesday, February 2nd.  We anticipate that Simmons Elementary School will reopen on Wednesday, February 3rd.

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 staff member 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, close contact with a 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.

Sincerely,

Scott T. Eveslage, Ed.D.

Superintendent

Hatboro-Horsham School District