• Reminder: Keep Covid out of our schools; please don’t travel over spring break

    coronavirus The Monroe County School District appreciates everyone’s cooperation during this school year with all our efforts to keep students and staff safe. In keeping with those efforts, we would ask everyone to avoid unnecessary travel over the upcoming Spring Break holiday, which begins March 22nd. 

    “It is particularly crucial that everyone stay home and stay safe because we have important academic testing when students return. If a student travels and, upon return, has to go through the process of covid testing and reducing contact with others, it may have an impact on their ability to test and may mean participating in make-up testing instead,” said Superintendent Theresa Axford.

    The CDC recommends:

    • Getting tested  for Covid 3-5 days after travel AND staying home and self-quarantining for a full 7 days after travel. 
    • Even if you test negative, they recommend you stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days. 
    • If your test is positive, they recommend isolating yourself to protect others from getting infected. 
    • If you don’t get tested, they recommend you stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel. 
    • They also say you should avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

    The health department is particularly concerned right now. While the Monroe County School District has one of the lowest pediatric positivity rates in Florida, there has recently been an uptick in juvenile cases in the county. The rate in the county has gone from 5.8% in January to 7.7% in February. In addition, the health department says there has been a recent increase in cases of the United Kingdom (UK) variant of the disease in Florida. This variant has been shown to spread more rapidly through communities where it has been detected. This makes it even more important to stay home and avoid unnecessary contacts with others.

    If you do decide to go somewhere outside the county over Spring Break, the District asks that you follow the CDC guidance and keep your child home for the requisite period. An absence under these circumstances will be considered an excused absence and the student will be able to continue to attend classes virtually. Contact your particular school to let them know the circumstances and to find out how to keep up with classwork while at home during this time period.

    For information about local testing availability and other Monroe County resources, please visit the Monroe County Health Department’s website at: http://monroe.floridahealth.gov/covid19.

    Below is the actual CDC guidance (updated February 18, 2021) for those who choose to travel domestically:

    You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can be contagious without symptoms and spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) pose a risk to your family, friends, and community for 14 days after you travel.

    • Get tested with a viral test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
      • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
      • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
    • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

    Follow all state and local recommendations or requirements after travel.

    Also, take these actions after you return from travel to protect others from getting COVID-19:

    • Avoid crowds and stay at least 6 feet/2 meters (about 2 arm lengths) from anyone who did not travel with you. It’s important to do this everywhere — both indoors and outdoors.
    • Wear a mask over your nose and mouth when in public settings. Masks are required on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations.
    • If there are people in the household who did not travel with you, wear a mask and ask everyone in the household to wear masks in shared spaces inside your home for 14 days after travel.
    • Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness.
    • Watch your health: Look for symptoms of COVID-19.

    Getting tested after travel is especially important if you did any of these activities that put you at higher risk for COVID-19:

    • Going to a large social gathering like a wedding, funeral, or party.
    • Attending a mass gathering like a sporting event, concert, or parade.
    • Being in crowds like in restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters.
    • Taking public transportation like planes, trains or buses or being in transportation hubs like airports.
    • Traveling on a cruise ship or riverboat.