Happy New Year, CRCSD!

At a time when many might be making personal resolutions to embrace the new year, I think we are ALL ready for 2022 to bring a different path in managing the pandemic. As more information is learned, recommendations shift overtime throughout our world. We are on the learning journey together, and we realize that families and staff want and need updates on that journey.

We continue to receive information guiding our decisions: public health updates (county, state, and CDC), state department guidance, and our district data.

The past several weeks have provided us with a lot more information, much of that information is new and will impact our mask mitigation decisions. Additionally, the winter break and holiday time has impacted exposure and an increase in positive cases. Therefore, we would like to use the next couple of weeks to continue to assess the new information and additional data.

At this time, our current mask mitigation expectations will remain the same until we have more information and data to shift those expectations. Additionally, COVID positive staff and students (and those with symptoms who do not test) still need to stay home and isolate for the entire 10 days, returning to school on day 11. The CDC is currently reviewing their new recommendations and we anticipate they will have updated school-specific guidelines. We will keep everyone updated.

Local and Federal Public Health entities support that schools should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies. Linn County and CRCSD COVID-19 data is reviewed each Thursday afternoon.

Free Test Iowa kits are available at all respective school health offices.

The following metrics will be considered in determining when mask requirements for students and staff can safely end:

  1. Upon notification of a change/cancellation of the temporary injunction to Iowa Law that restricts enforcement of masking, CRCSD will no longer require masks be worn by students and staff during the compulsory school day.
  2. Linn County 7 day positivity rate below 14% (currently 27.1)
  3. Linn County transmission level, as defined by IDPH, below “epidemic level” (currently epidemic level)
  4. CRCSD COVID-19 positivity rate below 2% (currently less than 1%
  5. Linn County 0-17 age group reported cases below 10% (currently 18%)

OR WITH THE ADDITIONAL ACCESS TO VACCINATION DATA, WE WILL USE THE FOLLOWING METRICS:

  1. Linn County 7 day positivity rate below 14% (currently 27.1)
  2. CRCSD COVID-19 positivity rate below 2% (currently less than 1%)
  3. Vaccination Status: Better than 50% of the student population is vaccinated.
    1. Secondary Schools: Our current update from our local health department tells us that over 52% of our secondary students are vaccinated.
    2. Elementary Schools: When the COVID-19 vaccination data update for students who have most recently gained access to vaccinations becomes available to our district and our district has better than 50% immunization rate.

Upon notification of a change/cancellation of the temporary injunction to Iowa Law that restricts enforcement of masking, CRCSD will follow the law.

After the district mask requirement ends, school site specific temporary masking requirements will be considered for students and staff when/if the following occur:

  • ≥2% of students are actively COVID positive at an individual school at the time of weekly data collection

    AND
  • The 5-school-day average daily attendance for illness is ≥8%.

Any school site temporary mask mandate under these circumstances shall last for 10 school days and be extended only if the temporary masking metrics are not met after that 10 days. Any temporary mask mandates for localized outbreaks will be in place for students during hours of compulsory attendance (school day, including pick-up/drop/off and after/before hour PK childcare/wraparound) while indoors, unless additional restrictions are needed or externally ordered.

Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

Noreen Bush
Superintendent