Western Dubuque Community School District
Address: 310 4th St. SW, PO Box 68 | Farley, IA 52046
Phone: (563) 744-3885
Fax: (563) 744-3093
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COVID-19 Policy & Procedures
 
As of August 16, 2021

The guidance being put out by the CDC, the Iowa Department of Public Health, and the Dubuque County Health Department has not been consistent. We recommend that you read all of the guidance and recommendations from these agencies to make the most informed decision you can regarding personal mitigation efforts for your child(ren).  

1. Masks at school: The CDC and the Dubuque County Board of Health recommend wearing masks for all PreK-12 staff, students, and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, while inside the school. As the school year begins, we recognize that some students and staff will choose to wear a mask, and some will choose not to wear a mask. The law signed by Governor Reynolds on May 20, 2021, prohibits a school district from adopting or enforcing a policy that requires employees, students, or the public to wear a mask while on school property. Therefore, masks will be optional for students, staff, and the public while on school district property.

2. Cleaning and Sanitizing: Again this year, we will continue to do additional cleaning and sanitizing of frequently touched surfaces in school, and on busses, to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Bottles of disinfectant spray will be available in each room for use as needed by staff. Maintenance staff will monitor the operation of all outside air HVAC units to make sure we are bringing in as much outside air into the building as needed.

3. Transportation:

  1. Masks on Buses: According to a CDC Order that went in to place on February 1, 2021, masks must be worn while riding on public and private school transportation. (A CDC Order is a directive from the President of the United States and is considered a regulation, not a recommendation.) The Governor signed a law on May 20, 2021, stating that school districts cannot require masks for students, staff, and visitors on school property. The CDC Order and the state law are in direct conflict with each other. Based on guidance we have received on this matter; we have determined that individuals should wear a mask when riding all school district transportation. Students will also have assigned seats on the bus for contract tracing purposes.  
  2. Seat Belts on Buses: Beginning in 19-20, the district began purchasing school buses equipped with lap/shoulder seat belts. Students riding one of the buses equipped with seat belts are required to wear them while riding the bus. Students who refuse to wear a seat belt on buses equipped with them are subject to school district disciplinary action. Repeated refusal to wear a seat belt could result in suspension from bus riding privileges.  

4. COVID-19 Illness Guidelines: Staying home when ill is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of all illnesses, including COVID-19. Any individual with one high-risk symptom or two or more low-risk symptoms should stay home, or will be sent home, from school. These individuals should consult a healthcare provider.  

  1. If the symptomatic individual receives an alternative diagnosis from a licensed medial healthcare provider, they will be asked to provide documentation to the school and can return when they are fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication.  
  2. If the individual receives a negative COVID-19 test result, they can return to school immediately. (Free testing is available throughout the county.)
  3. If the individual does not receive an evaluation by a licensed medical healthcare provider or a negative test result, they will be instructed to quarantine for 10 days.  
  4. Symptomatic individuals awaiting COVID-19 test results SHOULD NOT come to school until they receive results from the test. 

5. Contact Tracing and Parent Notification: (This information is based on guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the Dubuque County Health Department)

  1. School Exposure: If a student is exposed, at school, to an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, parents will be notified of the date of the exposure. Exposure means a person was within 6 feet of the individual who tested positive, for 15 continuous minutes. If the exposed person remains asymptomatic and tests negative for COVID-19 five days or more following exposure, they can end the quarantine period after seven days and return to school on day eight. The parent(s) will determine whether or not to have their child stay home and quarantine. Each classroom will have a seating chart to help with the contract tracing process.  
  2. Vaccinated Household Exposure: If the exposure to a person who tests positive for COVID-19 occurred at home, and the exposed individual has been vaccinated, there is no need to quarantine. You should monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and contact a healthcare provider if symptoms develop.
  3. Unvaccinated Household Exposure: If the exposure to a person who tests positive for COVID-19 occurred at home, and the exposed individual has not been vaccinated, the person should quarantine for 10 days from the last exposure. If the exposed person remains asymptomatic and tests negative for COVID-19 five days or more following exposure, they can end the quarantine period after seven days and return to school on day eight.
  4. Previously Positive COVID-19: An individual who has had COVID-19 within the previous three months, has recovered, and remains asymptomatic, does not need to quarantine if they are a close contact to a positive case.
     
6. Positive COVID-19 Cases: Any student or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 will be placed on home isolation for 10 days from the start of the symptoms or from the date of the positive test if the individual is asymptomatic. The individual may return to school when all three of the following have been met:

  1. At least 24 hours with no fever (without the use of fever-reducing medicine)  
  2. Symptoms are improving or no symptoms have developed if asymptomatic
  3. 10 days have passed since the start of symptoms or since the date of the positive COVID-19 test if the individual is asymptomatic.  
     
7. District Provided Technology: While students are on home isolation due to COVID-19, the district will provide technology for families who don't have access to it in their home. To sign up for short term technology use, please click on the link below for more information.  

https://www.wdbqschools.org/techsite.aspx


These are the procedures we have in place for the start of the 20-21 school year. We know that things could change, and we will communicate any impact those changes have on how we operate our schools to you as soon as we are able.  
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