School district thanks community for following health guidelines during upcoming vacation week

In an email to district families Friday, PUSD Superintendent Randy Booker and district nurses Carol Menz, Amy Jo Goldfarb, and Claudia Garcia thanked the school community for their caution around travel during the upcoming President’s Week vacation.

The letter linked to new Alameda County health guidelines — updated February 10 — that address pandemic safety and travel.

“We are aware that some families are planning to travel over the upcoming holiday,” the letter said. “We want to thank you in advance for following our Community Care Agreement and provide you with the latest guidance from the Alameda County Public Health Department on travel.”

In the question-and-answer portion of a Zoom meeting with Piedmont Middle School parents on Thursday, Goldfarb explained the new county guidance. Key points that she reiterated include:

  • If you traveled from out of state or from another country, you should, in most cases, stay home for 10 days after the date you return
  • Consider getting tested 3-7 days after returning from travel and stay home for 7 days after returning from travel, and stay home for the full 7 days even if you test negative for the novel coronavirus.
  • If you do not get tested, stay home for 10-14 days after returning from travel.
  • Keep in mind that you can get symptoms 2-14 days after being exposed. If someone was exposed on January 1, they could develop an infection by as late as January 15.

The district email sent Friday echoed remarks from school officials in the PMS meeting and in a Zoom meeting for elementary families held Feb. 2.

“Following ACPHD recommendations is the best way for us to work together to ensure everyone’s safety and to ensure classrooms can remain open for hybrid learning,” the letter said.

Although the school district cannot enforce a no-travel policy, at the Feb. 8 special school board meeting, President Cory Smegal implored families to take travel guidelines seriously in order to prevent COVID outbreaks from derailing reopening plans. Since the pandemic started, teachers have cited careless socializing and travel by local families as cause for concern.

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