GGUSD Update for Families - September 3, 2021

Friday, September 3, 2021

Dear GGUSD Families,

Back to School Success: The 2021-2022 school year is off to a great start. GGUSD schools continue to be the safest place for students to learn and grow! Students are gaining tremendous benefits from being back in the classroom for in-person instruction five days per week, and we are sharing those benefits at our Back to School Nights across GGUSD campuses in August and September.

COVID-19 Health and Safety: GGUSD schools are following numerous health and safety protocols to prevent the spread of COVID-19 including mask requirements, frequent hand washing, rigorous cleaning and disinfecting, and strict adherence to state and county requirements regarding isolation, quarantine and contact tracing.

New Symptom Decision Tree: Recently, the Orange County Health Care Agency updated its Symptom Decision Tree which provides guidance schools must follow when students test positive for COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or are identified as close contacts due to an exposure that occurred at school.

Here is an overview of the steps GGUSD schools take in each scenario:

Positive: Students who test positive for COVID-19 are sent home to isolate for 10 calendar days. This rule applies to all students who test positive – whether or not they are vaccinated, and whether or not they have any COVID-19 symptoms.  

Students with COVID-19 Symptoms: Students with COVID-19 symptoms are sent home and schools follow the Symptom Decision Tree to help families determine when the child can return to school.

Close Contacts: When schools are informed that a student or staff member tested positive for COVID-19 and had been present on campus during his/her infectious period, they conduct contact tracing to identify close contacts.  Close contacts are those students or staff who came within 6 feet of the person who tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more over the course of 24 hours. 

Vaccinated Close Contacts

  • Any student or staff who is vaccinated and is identified as a close contact does not need to quarantine as long as they do not have any symptoms of COVID-19.  They should continue to monitor themselves for symptoms for 14 days.

Unvaccinated Close Contacts

  • When students are indoors at school, masks are worn.  Any unvaccinated student identified as a close contact in an indoor setting may continue to attend school, but must follow Modified Quarantine procedures. The student must wear a mask indoors and outdoors, test twice weekly for 10 days (3 days apart) and notify their school office of all results. They may not participate in extracurricular activities including Boys & Girls Club and athletics for 14 days.
  • When students are outdoors at school, masks are optional. Any unvaccinated student identified as a close contact in an outdoor setting when masks were not worn must quarantine at home for 10 days.  These students may return to school on day 8 following their exposure with a negative COVID test on day 6 or 7. Upon returning to school, students must mask indoors and outdoors and cannot participate in extracurricular activities including Boys & Girls Club and athletics for 14 days.  

All Close Contacts

  • All close contacts who develop COVID-19 symptoms must isolate for 10 days, even if they get a negative COVID-19 test result.

Note: If a student is exposed to COVID-19 outside of school, the child must quarantine at home for 10 days.  If the child is exposed in the home, the child’s quarantine period does not begin until the family/household member’s isolation has ended. In this scenario, a child might be quarantined for up to 20 days.

Parent and Family Notifications
To ensure transparency, GGUSD school staff sends a notification to their school community via ParentSquare each time there is a staff or student positive case of COVID-19. Positive cases of staff/students who have been on campus during their infectious period are posted on our COVID-19 Dashboard and remain on the dashboard for a total of 14 days each.

We understand that these state and county health rules that school districts must follow may be confusing.  Click here for a visual graphic that helps simplify the rules for close contacts.  Our teachers and staff are committed to helping all students who are required to isolate or quarantine stay up-to-date on their school work and have access to the educational materials they need to stay on track.

We will continue to keep you informed on any updates to state and county health and safety requirements that impact our schools. 

Stay tuned for a parent survey which will be sent home with your child as a scantron form in late September/early October. We value your feedback!

Thank you to our students, staff and families, for doing your part to keep our schools safe!