COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions
The district continues to closely monitor COVID-19 and is actively engaged in responding to and planning for possible scenarios. Below is a series of frequently asked questions that you may find helpful.
Are masks required?
Masks are strongly recommended for all staff, students, and visitors. Students can not be forced to wear masks in classrooms.
What does the federal law say about masks on buses?
Students and staff are required to wear masks on buses and vans. The financial penalty to the district for not complying is significant.
Are we still following our social distancing, hygiene measures, and cleaning protocols that were in effect last year?
What health and safety measures will be in place in schools?
Posted on our district website is the Pandemic Operational Guidance. In this document states the procedures, requirements, recommendations and considerations when our school buildings are operating with students inside. We have established additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols, have rearranged rooms to accommodate as much physical distancing as possible, are strongly recommending face coverings for all students, staff, and visitors in an indoor school setting, and will teach and encourage hand hygiene.
How can I help with this process?
The most important and biggest thing that families can do is to educate your children about this virus, how it spreads and the importance of protecting yourself and others during this time.
How will schools respond to positive cases of COVID in schools?
We have created an Advisory Council (composed of health care and district officials) that advises our COVID Response Task Force. The Task Force will work with the Flathead County Health Department to make any decisions related to school closures.
Who will do contact tracing and make notifications?
The Flathead County Health Department will communicate with all close contacts of a person who tested positive and follow the guidelines on their website with regard to quarantine time and procedures.
What can school staff and students do to protect themselves and others from getting sick with COVID-19?
School staff and students can take everyday preventive actions to protect themselves and others from getting sick with COVID-19. KPS is emphasizing the three most effective strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (we are referring to these as the Three W’s):
● Wash your hands:
○ Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
○ Avoiding touching one’s eyes, nose, mouth, and cloth face covering.
○ Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or inside of the elbow, throwing the tissue away, and then washing hands.
● Watch your distance:
○ Maximize the distance between yourself and others. 6 feet is great. When 6 feet of distance cannot be accomplished, 5 feet is better than 4 feet which is better than 3 feet.
● Wear a face covering:
○ Cloth face coverings are strongly recommended and are especially important when other physical distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
● Additional measures to ensure the safety of our community include:
○ Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, including tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
○ Staying home when sick, or after being in close contact with a person with COVID-19.
○ Limiting use of shared objects (e.g., gym or physical education equipment, art supplies, games) when possible, and cleaning and disinfecting these objects frequently.
Can physical distance between students in the classroom be less than 6 feet?
In general, the closer, longer, and more frequent the interaction between students, teachers and staff, the higher the risk of respiratory droplets being passed between people. Therefore, CDC recommends keeping a distance of at least 6 feet from other people, in addition to practicing other behaviors that reduce the spread of COVID-19 like wearing cloth face coverings, washing hands often with soap and water, and staying home when sick. We recognize that maintaining 6 feet of distance is not always feasible. Our schools will use additional strategies such as physical barriers, increasing air circulation, frequent sanitizing, requiring face coverings, and frequent handwashing to mitigate the spread of COVID. Schools will also consider using outdoor spaces (weather-permitting), and larger spaces within buildings to enable physical distancing.
Is the district tracking our positive COVID cases this year?
Yes, the information will be available on our district website and in PowerSchool.
What happens to someone that tests positive for COVID?
If someone tests positive, they will have a mandatory 10-day isolation period and will be required to provide a written return to work notice from their doctor or health department prior to their first day back.
What happens to someone that is a close contact?
If someone is named a close contact, they are advised to quarantine for 10 days. However, if the person tests negative on day five and does not present symptoms, they may return after day seven.
There are a few exceptions to the 10-day quarantine that people may qualify for:
If they have had a confirmed positive COVID test within the last 90 days;
The CDC advises that if they are fully vaccinated, quarantine is not necessary unless they develop symptoms. However, it is advised that a fully vaccinated person wear a mask out in public for 14 days after the close contact and get tested on day five.
What happens when an employee must isolate or quarantine?
With all isolations and quarantines, the employee will be required to use accrued sick leave just as they would for a cold or the flu.
Will employees have the ability to work remotely?
Employees may be allowed to temporarily work remotely on a case-by-case basis with prior approval from their supervisor or principal. Teachers experiencing an isolation or quarantine who are willing and able to work remotely will follow a full synchronous schedule.
Where can someone get an appointment to be tested for COVID? (The test is free!)
877-423-1330 CareHere Clinic or 406-890-7272 Logan Health
For more information please refer to our district website at: www.sd5.k12.mt.us
Additional questions can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org