Campus COVID-19 update
Posted on: Nov 10, 2020
Dear Holland Hall Families,
We are watching the Tulsa area’s rising C19 numbers closely, as we know you are. Unfortunately, we are seeing our highest numbers to date on campus this week with 9 confirmed cases in the Upper School and 42 in quarantine.
This is the first real increase on campus, so I wanted to take some time to share the data collected.
First of all, the school’s mitigation efforts have been effective.
Our Director of Health Services, Linda Christensen, did an amazing job last week and over the weekend with contact tracing. Her findings indicate that most active cases did not originate on campus — with the possibility of one Covid case being transmitted from one Upper School student to another.
These findings suggest that our classroom protocols and procedures — increased ventilation, masks, hand washing, plexiglass dividers, and social distancing — are working.
We are also putting renewed effort into keeping our distance at lunch, during common free times, and in the hallways between classes. While our faculty have been remarkably diligent with their work with our students, we ask that you please reinforce this reminder at home. Wearing a mask has fundamentally been a non-issue for our students, but keeping six feet apart is something that requires constant vigilance and attention. Our faculty have been truly incredible with all the details in our Covid environment this year. We can support them directly and keep our students in classes and on campus by reinforcing this principle at home.
Because some local high schools have moved to distance learning for two weeks, we have received the question of when we would make such a move.
In both cases in the Tulsa metro area, it was the limitation of available resources at those schools, not the total cases, that necessitated closures.
When we started the school year, I stressed the importance of flexibility. It was the guiding principle in every decision we made.
We do not have a magic number that would move us to distance learning for the campus, a branch, or even a grade level. If, for example, a significant number in a grade, or several teachers in a grade, tested positive or had to quarantine, we would look to do just that.
That remains the advice from the Tulsa Health Department at this time as they are not seeing schools with good mitigation efforts in place contributing to the numbers in Tulsa.
We do not anticipate the kind of abrupt change in learning modes that we experienced in the spring when details about the virus were scarce. If we need to be flexible and move some or all of our students to a virtual model, we will notify faculty, parents, and students in plenty of time to prepare for the change.
As for this increase, we hope it is short-lived and many of our students in quarantine will move back to in-person learning when it’s safe to do so. Anyone who had direct contact with an infected individual to date has been notified, and the school received a thorough disinfecting over the weekend.
Nurse Christensen has received a lot of questions about exposure and wanted to share the bullets below with you again. If you have more, please feel free to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What qualifies as direct exposure/close contact?
“You are a close contact if you are within 6 feet of an infected person (a diagnosed COVID case) for a cumulative total of 15 minutes, starting from two days before illness onset or two days prior to a positive COVID test.” Oklahoma State Department of Health
Direct exposure is not….
- Being around someone who has had direct exposure to a known positive COVID case.
- Being around someone who is ill unless and until they receive a positive COVID test.
If you have had direct exposure to a known positive COVID case:
- Call your primary care physician for guidance.
- If your primary care physician is unavailable, please follow these guidelines.
- Immediately separate yourself from the known positive COVID individual.
If the exposed individual is a member of your household, he or she must isolate in a separate bedroom and use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. You should not have any contact with the individual for 10 days.
- Remain separated from the known COVID individual and obtain a COVID test five days (or more) after your last contact with the individual.
- If your test result is negative, you may resume your normal activities, however, you must remain separated from the COVID positive individual for 10 days after his or her diagnosis.
- If your test result is positive, you will need to quarantine for 10 days from the date of your positive test or the development of COVID symptoms.
- If you are unable to separate from the COVID positive individual in your household, you must quarantine for 10 days and then obtain a COVID test five days after the 10th day.
Head of School