After a positive case, Newark Academy will adhere to the CDC’s Public Health Guidance for Community Exposure. If an individual in the community has had “close contact” with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, that individual will be asked to self-isolate and stay home from school for 14 days. Newark Academy will follow the guidance of the Livingston Board of Health and the CDC in determining whether individuals have had “close contact.” The New Jersey Department of Health defines close contacts as “individuals who were within 6 feet of a lab confirmed COVID-19 case for a prolonged period (10 minutes or more) or had direct contact with the infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., were coughed on). Walking past a lab confirmed COVID-19 case or just being in the same building does NOT qualify as being a close contact.” According to the CDC, close contacts can occur “starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.”
The local health department may call an individual who has tested positive to determine who was a “close contact”: both in the individual’s household and any individuals within 6 feet for more than 10 minutes.
Student-athletes who test positive for COVID-19 will follow the above protocols (i.e. a 14-day quarantine, no symptoms for 10 days, and fever less than 100.4 for 24 hours) before returning to school. For those student-athletes who experienced mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, cardiac clearance will be at the discretion of the student's physician. For student-athletes who experienced severe COVID-19 symptoms and/or required hospitalization, cardiac clearance will be required prior to participation in sports.
Parents of students or family members of employees in the same household testing positive will be deemed as having been in “close contact” and must stay home and notify the appropriate administrators, HR, or attendance office to report their absence and possible exposure to COVID-19. Refer to the CDC guidelines for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure.
If a positive test occurs, the school will undergo a deep cleaning and sanitization based on CDC guidelines. Any classroom in which the employee or student spent more than 15 minutes would be closed for at least 24 hours.
Community-wide response when a case or cases occur will be dependent on a range of factors. According to the CDC’s “Safe Return” guidelines, “a single case of COVID-19 in a school would not likely warrant closing the entire school, especially if levels of community transmission are not high. The levels of community transmission described above and the extent of close contacts of the individual who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 should all be considered before closing.” Newark Academy would base its decision on the “level of community transmission” (Appendix), other state and local public health metrics as indicated on this document, the guidance of the Livingston Board of Health and other governmental and health officials. The school’s response could include the need for community members to quarantine themselves, enhanced monitoring, testing, or a shift in mode of learning. Newark Academy will prioritize the health and safety of all of its community members when making decisions about school operations.