WAUWATOSA, WI—The Wauwatosa School Board will meet on Monday to discuss making changes in the COVID-19 mitigation policy. Any change in the mitigation strategy in the district must receive board approval.
Since returning from winter break, the school nursing team has been overwhelmed by the number of emails and phone calls from families reporting COVID-19 illnesses, online school board documents said.
Teacher absences led to the district calling on school administrators to fill vacancies for absent colleagues to ensure the goal of in-person instruction five days a week, the documents said.
"The district was not nimble enough to adjust to the Omicron variant and updated CDC guidelines to change the quarantine duration period from 10 days to five days. This led to great frustration among families, as many of our neighboring districts were able to quickly make this shift," the documents said.
The recommended modifications proposed are:
Provide written notification of an in-school COVID-19 exposure and advise the person to monitor for symptoms. The district will not require quarantine for in-school exposures, and any exposed person will be allowed to attend school or work. Follow the most recent CDC guidelines regarding isolation and outside of school exposures. A COVID-positive individual is recommended to provide a negative COVID-19 test upon their return to school/work. Once a school’s internal infection rate reaches level 2 (0.051-1%) or level 1 (<0.05%), proceed with the strongly encouraged masking protocol in that school, as the Board of Education approved on Dec. 13. Per current CDC guidelines, when masking is not required, all COVID-positive individuals or those in quarantine may return to school/work after quarantining/isolating for 5 days if the individual wears a mask for the next 5 days (days 6-10).
"The district will not ease mitigation strategies that will adversely affect our ability to carry out our goal of educating students in person, five days a week. The above recommendations will assist us in keeping more students in school, in person, by reducing the quarantining period," the documents said.