COVID FAQ's and VACCINE RESOURCES
Regularly check our vaccine website as the points are continually updated.
-The Delta variant of this virus has changed the game, for the U.S. and here in Vermont.
-Nonetheless, the vaccines are doing what they are designed to do — prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death.
-The vaccines are estimated to have saved some 279,000 lives and prevented 1.25 million hospitalizations (according to a study led by Yale School of Public Health). That’s pretty amazing to consider.
-With the original coronavirus, it was estimated that each infected person could be expected to spread it to as many as two or three additional people. With the Delta variant, the CDC estimates that, on average, each infected person may spread it to five or more people.
-This means anyone who is unvaccinated — both people who have chosen not to get vaccinated AND children under 12 who cannot get vaccinated right now — are at greater risk of getting and spreading the virus.
-Fully vaccinated people are highly protected from serious illness, hospitalizations and deaths. But some vaccinated people can still become infected and possibly spread the virus.
-We have a very powerful tool — vaccines that are highly effective at preventing the most serious outcomes of the COVID-19 virus, including against the Delta variant.
-We have learned a great deal about the virus – an almost unprecedented amount – in the more than 18 months of this pandemic.
-Unfortunately, one key aspect we now know is that the virus continues to evolve. And right now, the most contagious version of it, the Delta variant, is firmly established in the U.S. and found in nearly all cases here in Vermont.
-Because it is so contagious – more than twice that of the original strain – it is quickly moving through our unvaccinated population, causing cases to rise and contributing to more community spread and outbreaks.
-That means we are seeing cases and outbreaks in our communities again, in camps, workplaces, and other settings.
-Hospitalizations and the number of people in the ICU are rising again too. The majority are unvaccinated people.
-The virus is also leading to some cases in vaccinated people, but again, those people are still protected from severe illness.
-Everyone who is eligible for vaccinations should get vaccinated as soon as possible — because that protection is how we can ensure people are safe and healthy
-There are about 75,000 people in the state who are not yet vaccinated – some because they are not yet eligible, but many who are….
-The so-called breakthrough cases are not a reason to not get vaccinated – in fact it’s exactly the opposite
-If you are vaccinated, you are well protected from the worst outcomes, including from this variant.
-Yes, breakthrough cases do occasionally occur, and cases are generally mild. But vaccination provides you with an 8-fold lower risk of getting ill from Covid and a 25-fold lower risk of hospitalization and death.
-People who have been vaccinated are far, far less likely to experience serious illness, hospitalization or death if they do become infected. The majority of severe outcomes are almost exclusively in the unvaccinated.
-Here’s why: After vaccination, your body has new defenses to fight that infection. That’s why you are so much better protected.
-The real danger of Delta is among those who are not vaccinated.
-If you are not vaccinated but could be, you are leaving yourself without protection to an often-serious illness that has killed about 270 of our friends and loved ones.
-The risk doesn’t stop there. People who are not vaccinated are the biggest drivers of virus spread – which allows for more cases, more outbreaks, more hospitalizations and more deaths.
-Getting your shot is very important if we are going to be able to slow the spread – to give the virus fewer people to infect to protect those who cannot get vaccinated, like infants and immunocompromised children, and to give the virus fewer chances to mutate into something even stronger and more contagious than the Delta variant.
-Getting vaccinated is not about politics, it’s not an agenda. It is public health…. Medical science plain and simple.
-Please get vaccinated. We don’t want you to get sick, we don’t want you to end up in the hospital, and we certainly don’t want you to die.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
Masks will be required for everyone indoors for two weeks, or until Labor Day weekend. Masks are required on buses regardless of the rider’s vaccination status. Masks are not required outdoors. After the first two weeks of school, we will revisit mask rules.
Testing will be regularly offered to all, and may be required for some.
Only visitors who can show full vaccination will be allowed inside school buildings.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. Anyone can have mild to severe symptoms. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms. CDC will continue to update this list as we learn more about COVID-19. Older adults and people who have severe underlying medical conditions like heart or lung disease or diabetes seem to be at higher risk for developing more serious complications from COVID-19 illness. (CDC.gov)
Stay home when sick. We are all relying on every student and professional to stay home if we show any symptoms of COVID-19. For a comprehensive and clear decision tree from the UVM Children’s Hospital on when to stay home, please refer to the K-12 Evaluation Chart.
Please Inform LTS of absence and COVID-like symptoms and pursue testing through the VT Dept. of Health or your medical provider. If positive, pursue medical care. Do not return to school until meeting CDC criteria for exiting quarantine. If negative, a student can return to LTS after being symptom-free for 24 hours.
Currently, Vermont does not require fully vaccinated individuals to quarantine if they are exposed to COVID-19. Only those not fully vaccinated are required to quarantine. Any student identified as a close contact through contact tracing is required to test within 48 hours of being identified as a close contact and again on day 7 whether you are vaccinated or not. If symptoms arise, testing should be done immediately.
If you are unvaccinated and named a close contact, you get tested twice – as soon as two days after you were exposed to the person with COVID-19, and again seven days after the exposure. You must remain in quarantine and follow the quarantine guidance. Your quarantine period starts on day 0, which was the last day you were in close contact with the person who tested positive. You must quarantine for 14 days, or can test out on Day 7. Students will not be allowed to return to school until they have a negative PCR result.
To return to LTS, a student must complete 10 days of self-quarantine at home.