COVID FAQ’s and VACCINE RESOURCES

COVID FAQ's and VACCINE RESOURCES

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.

ACADEMICS

There is no online learning option for students for the 2021-22 Academic Year.

This year we will be rotating different grades into the theater for morning meetings each week.  For example, one week grades 6, 8, 10 and 12 will attend morning meetings live, with everyone else by streaming from their advisories, and the following week it would be grades 7, 9, 11 and 12.  Seniors are always in the theater for morning meeting, given they run the meeting each day.

For the first time, this year the daily schedule has three lunch blocks for students.  This was the first step in de-densifying the spaces where students buy and eat lunch.  We are pleased with this new schedule so far, and an additional benefit is there are no more long lines to buy lunch.

When the weather cooperates, we will be eating outdoors.  When the weather is inclement, students in grades 6 & 7 will be eating lunch in their advisories. Students should only be unmasked to eat when seated at a desk, thereby spacing themselves out in the room.  With the 6th and 7th graders eating lunch in advisory, there will be supervision for our youngest students.  We encourage teachers to keep their windows open whenever possible.

Students in grades 8-12  will eat in Whalen or in their individual lunch groups in classrooms.  We are grateful that everyone in this age group is eligible for a vaccine and proud that 88% of our eligible students are vaccinated.

HEALTH AND WELLNESS

Masks are required for everyone indoors.  Masks are required on buses.  Masks are not required outdoors.

Free, in-school weekly testing will be offered to all on Wednesdays, and is required for unvaccinated student athletes to maintain their eligibility for winter sports.

Only visitors who can show full vaccination are allowed inside school buildings.

Spectator Policy

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
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

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.

The CDC and the Vermont Department of Health have recently updated the guidance for exposure to COVID-19.  The isolation period is 5 days for unvaccinated close contacts.  Students who are isolating due to being named a close contact can return to school on Day 5 if they are symptom-free and test negative with a PCR or LAMP test no earlier than Day 4, or test negative with two rapid antigen tests on Day 4 and Day 5.

Notify School Nurse, Stephenie Frawley.  The guidance for testing positive states that students can return to school on Day 5 if they are symptom-free and test negative with a PCR or LAMP test no earlier than Day 4, or test negative with two rapid antigen tests on Day 4 and Day 5.

This year the daily schedule has three lunch blocks for students.  This was the first step in de-densifying the spaces where students buy and eat lunch.  We are pleased with this new schedule so far, and an additional benefit is there are no more long lines to buy lunch.

When the weather cooperates, we will be eating outdoors.  When the weather is inclement, students in grade 6 & 7 will be eating lunch in their advisories. Students should only be unmasked to eat when seated at a desk, thereby spacing themselves out in the room.  With the 6th and 7th graders eating lunch in advisory, there will be supervision for our youngest students.  We encourage teachers to keep their windows open whenever possible.

Students in grades 8-12  will either eat in Whalen or in their individual lunch groups in classrooms.  We are grateful that everyone in this age group is eligible for a vaccine and proud that 88% of our eligible students are vaccinated.

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