Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Overview
Columbia Heights Public Schools (CHPS) continues to monitor the developments with COVID-19.
We want CHPS students, families, and staff to know that we are in communication with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) to have the most up-to-date information and to implement district and school protocols as needed. We are also using the Center of Disease Control's (CDC) recommendations as guidance.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
- Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction in the fall 2021 is a priority.
- Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
- Due to the circulating and highly contagious Delta variant, CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (age 2 and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
- In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully re-open while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple other prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
- Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
- Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
- Many schools serve children under the age of 12 who are not eligible for vaccination at this time. Therefore, this guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies (e.g., using multiple prevention strategies together consistently) to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
- Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).
Minnesota Department of Health (MDH)
It is important that everyone in the school, child care, youth-serving program, and camp community take steps to reduce COVID-19 transmission, particularly to those who are not vaccinated, while balancing the need to maintain a strong system that effectively supports children, youth, staff and communities.
- Best Practice Recommendations
Approaches that schools, child care, youth programs, and camps can use to promote health and safety while mitigating COVID-19 transmission risk.
- COVID-19 Testing During the 2021-22 School Year
Testing recommendations and options for families, educators, and staff.
- Institutes of Higher Education (IHE)
Planning guidance for mitigating COVID-19 spread on campus and other interpretive guidance.