Loveland, Ohio – The Loveland City School District announced today that they will relax COVID 19 quarantine guidelines and start using protocol announced on December 5 by Governor Mike DeWine
DeWine announced that Ohio was changing its guidance regarding quarantines following an in-classroom exposure in K-12 schools. The Ohio Department of Health said, “Moving forward, students and teachers exposed to a COVID-positive person in school are no longer required to quarantine as long as the exposure occurred in a classroom setting and all students/teachers were wearing masks and following other appropriate protocols.”
The change follows an evaluation of virus spread in Ohio schools conducted by researchers with the Ohio Schools COVID-19 Evaluation Team. Preliminary results of the evaluation found no discernible difference in the risk of contracting the coronavirus between those in close contact with a COVID-positive person in the classroom and those who were farther away.
Loveland school students returned to the classroom today, Monday, January 4.
Here is the announcement issued by the District today:
Changes to K-12 School Quarantine Guidelines
Loveland Tiger Family,
We hope that you have had a safe and healthy winter break, and that your students have eagerly returned to their school activities!
As a result of the evidence of low in-school transmission rates of COVID-19, Governor Mike DeWine announced in his press conference last week that school districts will no longer have to quarantine students and staff who are in a “classroom setting” wearing masks and following other safety protocols that would have previously been named a close contact and had to stay home in quarantine for at least 10 days. Hamilton County Public Health, and under their direction the Loveland City School District, will follow this order.
For the purpose of this order, we wish to reiterate that the following:
- Safety protocols to be adhered to include mask wearing, hand sanitizing and hand washing, maintaining social distance guidance, and continuing our thorough cleaning protocols – the “bundle”.
- Where these protocols cannot be adhered to, students and staff may still need to quarantine following close contact with a person who is positive for COVID-19. For example, eating lunch prevents the wearing of a mask, and as such, close contact in this setting may require quarantining. However, as the district has worked hard to maintain social distancing in our cafeterias, we would expect that this would happen infrequently.
At this time, the district is waiting for guidance on whether or not students would need to quarantine for close contact on a bus. A future communication will clarify that issue. In the interim, Loveland will continue to quarantine close contacts for this setting.
Per the Governor’s order, this new quarantine guidance does NOT apply to close contacts that happen outside of the classroom setting. Students and staff who are identified as a close contact of a positive case outside of the classroom setting (for example, a family member, a teammate, or a close contact outside of school tests positive) will still need to follow the new CDC/ODH approved guidelines. This does include all athletics and extracurricular activities.
We will continue to communicate pertinent COVID-19 information with families as we did during the first semester:
- Daily communications when a staff member or student tests positive within 48 hours of being at school if asymptomatic, or within 48 hours of having symptoms.
- Personal communications from school when students are determined to be in close contact of a positive case, even if no longer required to quarantine.
- Our COVID-19 Dashboard updated on Fridays and inclusive of at-school cases and quarantines (if applicable), as well as a separate tally of community cases that do not meet the definition of being at-school noted in the first bullet.
The district also announced that they have been notified of the following positive cases of COVID-19:
- On 12/22/20, a student at Loveland Middle School, last at school on 12/14/20;
- On 1/3/21, a student at the Loveland Early Childhood Center, last at school on 12/18/20;
- On 1/4/21, a student at Loveland High School, last at school on 12/14/20; and
- On 1/4/21, a student at Loveland High School, last at school on 12/16/20.