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Protocols for COVID-19

Changes have been made to the below protocols as of March 30

**Please Note:** MKA does not accept any form of antigen testing. The test we accept is a laboratory conducted, non-rapid molecular viral assay (PCR) for COVID-19  from a respiratory or saliva specimen. More information on acceptable testing is available here.

Mask Optional Policy

As permitted by the NJDOH guidance, MKA will move to a mask optional policy on March 9. Students and employees may choose to wear masks, and the school is fully supportive of an individual’s choice. Masks will no longer be required to be worn indoors, except as follows:

  • Masks will continue to be required in the nurse’s office and athletic training rooms. 
  • Masks will no longer be required on school buses.
  • High quality masks (surgical grade or above) will be required to be worn by all identified close contacts (regardless of vaccination status) for 10 days after their last exposure. 
  • Individuals returning to school after COVID-19 will be required to wear a high quality mask (KN95/KF94) for 10 days after their initial diagnosis.
  • Masks may be required in large group settings  (e.g. assemblies, audiences for performances, etc.).
  • In the event of an outbreak in a specific cohort or class, the school may require that specific cohort or class wear masks to limit additional exposure. 
  • Students should have a mask available when they come to school, in the event that it is needed.  
Exceptions to Required Quarantine 

As of February 15, the CDC and NJDOH have revised requirements for a close contact to attend school and not be required to quarantine. One criteria below must be met:

  • They are fully vaccinated for COVID-19:

    • Employees and students 12 years of age and older must have completed their primary vaccine series and received all eligible boosters.
    • Students who are under 12 years of age must have completed their primary vaccine series.
  • They have tested positive for COVID-19 via a viral test, within the past 90 days.

Even though you are not required to quarantine, if identified as a close contact you will be required to:

  • Wear a high quality mask for 10 days after your last exposure 
  • Socially distance while eating/drinking 
  • Test 5 days after your last exposure and send the results to covid19@mka.org
  • Isolate immediately if you develop symptoms

As a reminder, to be considered fully vaccinated 14 days must have passed after the final dose of any primary vaccine series, however, there is no equivalent wait period for a booster. New or updated vaccination records should be emailed to covid19@mka.org.

Required Quarantine Period

Individuals who do not meet either criteria will be required to quarantine for 5 days in the event they are identified as a close contact. After 5 days, and with a negative PCR test, an individual may return to school, but must follow the protocols above.  

Response to Positive Cases on Campus

COVID-19 COMPLIANCE TEAM

All possible exposures and positive test results for any members of your household should be reported to the covid19@mka.org.

For questions or concerns regarding MKA's COVID-19 protocols contact the  covid19@mka.org.

Symptoms of COVID-19

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. For a more information, visit the CDC website. According to the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include but are not limited to:
  • Congestion or a persistent runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Fever or chills 
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle or body aches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

What to do if your child or a member of your household is sick:

If your child or a household member shows symptoms that are compatible with COVID-19 (if your child has chronic condition please see the information below): 

  1. Keep your child (and all unvaccinated siblings, even if they are asymptomatic) home from school (this is required by the NJ Department of Health).
  2. Notify the covid19@mka.org (before 7:15 a.m., if possible).
  3. The symptomatic child or individual should be tested via a PCR COVID-19 test and the results sent to covid19@mka.org
  4. Symptomatic individuals are required to receive a negative non-rapid PCR COVID-19 test in order to return to school. An alternate diagnosis (including a positive strep test or influenza swab) without a negative PCR COVID-19 test is not acceptable. This is required by the NJ Department of Health.
  5. If your child shows symptoms of COVID-19 while at school, parents will be called to pick them up along with their siblings who attend MKA. 
  6. Asymptomatic siblings may return to school when the symptomatic sibling has a negative non-rapid PCR COVID-19 test
  7. Fully-vaccinated individuals who are asymptomatic DO NOT need to go/stay home when a family member becomes ill and/or is awaiting PCR results. 
  8. In order for a symptomatic child to return to school, the following must be met:
  • absence of COVID-19 symptoms for 24 hours
  • your child meets the school’s return to school criteria (see below)
  • negative PCR COVID-19 test
  • clearance from the school’s nursing staff, which will be emailed to you

What to do if your child is diagnosed with a positive COVID-19 test:

If your child or a household member tests positive for COVID-19, please do the following:

  1. Please email covid19@mka.org.
  2. The COVID-positive person must immediately isolate away from other household members for required isolation time (see top of page).
  3. All unvaccinated close contacts of your child must quarantine (Please refer to the Required Quarantine note at the top of this page. Quarantine periods are subject to change based on local area transmission rates). 
  4. Vaccinated close contacts who are symptomatic must also quarantine.
  5. Vaccinated close contacts who are asymptomatic do not need quarantine but must wear a mask at all times, and test with a PCR COVID-19 test 5 days after their last exposure. If they are an MKA student or employee they must share the results of this testing with covid19@mka.org.
  6. Please contact your child’s teacher or advisor to make arrangements for their learning during their isolation period. 
  7. For more severe cases the isolation/quarantine periods may be extended.

What to do if your child has been identified as a close contact:

If your child or a household member tests positive for COVID-19, please do the following:

  1. Please email covid19@mka.org and contact your child’s teacher or advisor.
  2. All close contacts who are not fully vaccinated and have not had COVID-19 in the past 90 days must quarantine (Please refer to the Required Quarantine note at the top of this page. Quarantine periods are subject to change based on local area transmission rates).
  3. Continue to monitor your child for symptoms of COVID-19 and if these develop notify your child’s doctor and the covid-19@mka.org
  4. 5 days after their last exposure, all close contacts should test via a PCR COVID-19 test and students and employees should provide a copy of their test results to covid@mka.org.  
  5. Continue to wear a mask for 10 days after their last exposure.

The following asymptomatic individuals are exempt from quarantining following a close contact:

  • COVID-19 positive (viral test) within 3 months
  • Fully Vaccinated Persons 

Per CDC recommendations, vaccinated close contacts who are asymptomatic do not need quarantine but must wear a mask at all times, and test with a PCR COVID-19 test 5 days after their last exposure. If they are an MKA student or employee they must share the results of this testing with covid19@mka.org.

Fully vaccinated persons should still watch for symptoms of COVID-19 for 10 days following an exposure. If they experience symptoms, they should quarantine and be clinically evaluated for COVID-19.

Domestic and International Travel Protocols

New Jersey has lifted restrictions on travel, but we are asking that families follow the CDC recommendations for domestic travel and the requirements for international travel. 

Please Note: If a student misses their pooled testing in school due to travel, they are required to have an independent PCR test for COVID-19 and receive a negative test result before they may return to school. Test results should be emailed to covid19@mka.org for review prior to their return. Students cannot return until you receive confirmation that your test has been reviewed.

Chronic Illnesses Protocol (including seasonal allergies)

For students and individuals with a chronic illness, only new symptoms or symptoms worse than baseline should be considered when evaluating whether to keep your child home from school. 
 

In order for the school to consider a chronic illness, there must be record of this condition in their Vital Health Record on Magnus and a treatment plan provided to the nursing staff.

Learning During Mandatory Periods of Isolation and Quarantine

MKA will continue to honor its commitment to prioritize in-person instruction this year, and therefore will not use a hybrid teaching and learning model for students who must isolate or quarantine (as determined by MKA nursing staff, CDC, and NJDOH guidelines). Instead, teachers will design age-conscious and developmentally appropriate learning alternatives that are largely but not entirely asynchronous to address isolated/quarantined students’ needs. (Students subject to travel-related quarantine, or required to be absent due to other family-related circumstances, or home sick for other reasons will not have access to these learning options while out of school.)

Campus administrators, advisors, and/or teachers will communicate directly with parents and/or quarantined students, as appropriate, about how students can access learning while they are out of school. Access to learning will begin the day following the beginning of an isolation, quarantine, or precautionary quarantine, and teachers will provide students with learning opportunities that help them to keep pace with classes and be ready to return to school when they are able. 

Teachers will invite isolated and quarantined students to engage in developmentally appropriate learning in a variety of ways, based on their best professional judgment and students feeling well enough to participate in school. As a result, a teacher might do a combination of the following:

  • Provide asynchronous assignments that students can complete to practice skills and/or keep up with classwork. 
  • Post learning materials (e.g., in Veracross, Seesaw, or Google Docs) to support learning; these might include opportunities for older students to collaborate with classmates at school.
  • Ask the student(s) who are learning at home to:
    • Share a product that the teacher can look at later to check understanding and/or to provide a short, guiding piece of feedback.
    • Record any questions that they have, so that they can ask teachers during teacher-initiated 1:1 or small-group contact time (for PS and MS students) or CWP time (for MS and US students).
  • “Livestream” or record a portion of class on a limited basis–particularly when providing direct instruction, such as a mini-lesson or mini-lecture. The goal here is to provide a one-way communication of important information without distracting all learners by attempting to coordinate participation of students at home with students in the classroom. (Livestreaming will not be provided for young students to avoid the developmentally-appropriate frustration of not being able to participate.
  • Ask older students to join a remote class in Google Meet IF the teacher chooses to pivot the whole class to remote learning under very specific circumstances (i.e., a quarantining teacher must teach from home with a proctor in the classroom, or the majority of a class is quarantining at home).
  • Ask students to complete some assessments at home (i.e., assessments that allow access to all resource materials). Guidelines differ by campus. More specific information on Upper School assessments during quarantines can be found here.