School Reopening Information
COVID-19 prevention and response efforts will help schools reopen safely
Governor Phil Scott, health and education officials said at a press conference Tuesday that, while anxiety about schools reopening this fall is understandable, Vermonters can have confidence in the robust system in place to prevent spread of the virus and quickly respond to any cases that arise.
“This has been key to our reopening — where we’ve seen cases connected to worksites and even child care centers — but they have not resulted in increased community transmission like we saw this spring or what other states are seeing today,” Gov. Phil Scott said.
State Epidemiologist Patsy Kelso emphasized that even with low levels of the virus in Vermont, schools should plan for cases of COVID-19, but that a case does not automatically mean a school needs to close. If students remain together in a single classroom without mixing with others, for example, that classroom may stop in-person instruction for 24 hours while Health teams begin contact tracing and provide further recommendations, she said.
The data shows our containment strategies are working, Kelso said.
“It’s mission critical to open schools, and we have to try,” she said. “There may be no safer place to do it than Vermont.”
Secretary of Education Daniel French said changes include more flexible distancing requirements for younger students. This is based on data that children less than 10 years old are the least likely to acquire and transmit COVID-19, even in close contact scenarios. Younger students can maintain a range of 3 to 6 feet between students. He also noted the daily health check process can now be done by parents or students themselves.
Please see the attached letter from the WSWSU regarding school reopening with a link to the draft family handbook.