Greetings RPS students and families,
As COVID-19 testing and quarantine information continues to evolve, we want to keep you informed and ensure you know what it means for you and your family.
On December 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their COVID-19 quarantine guidelines. The new guidelines provide details on when and how long an individual would need to quarantine after being in close contact with a person who tested positive for COVID-19. These guidelines are still being reviewed by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We continue to gather information and are waiting on further clarification prior to making any changes. Until then, we will continue with the same quarantine guidelines we put in place for the 2021-22 school year (view them here).
There have also been news reports about the need for increased testing and home testing kits for COVID-19. Prior to winter break, we applied for a supply of free COVID-19 at-home test kits from the State of Minnesota. Sometime this month, we will receive a test kit for each student and staff member who would like one. Please watch your email for information on this once the kits arrive. They are rapid antigen tests that can be used for anyone over the age of 2. The package includes two tests per box so the person being tested can take a second test between 24 and 48 hours after the first test.
We remain committed to keeping schools open for in-person learning for as long as it is safe to do so. We monitor local case rates, as well as positive school cases, on a regular basis to determine if/when classrooms need to quarantine and if a school would ever need to move to distance learning. You can help by:
Ensuring everyone in your family wears a face covering in public spaces
Getting everyone in your family vaccinated (if they are eligible)
Getting the booster shot for everyone in your family who is eligible
Continuing to wash hands regularly, maintain social distancing and stay home when sick
Lastly, it is recommended that all students test regularly for COVID-19. Frequent testing can help identify new cases and close contacts early, which can help prevent spread in the classroom and the community. You can find testing locations or home testing information here.
Remember, even though children are the least likely to develop a serious infection from COVID-19, the risk is still there. In addition, they can spread it to others, including grandparents, younger siblings and community/family members with compromised immune systems. Until this pandemic is over, keeping our community safe is everyone’s job. Please do your part to ensure you and your family are protected and protecting others.
Superintendent Steven Unowsky