January 14, 2022

District COVID-19 Active Positive Cases

  • Total number of students and staff in isolation (currently positive) for COVID-19: twenty-seven (27)
  • Current district facilities with known positive cases: John Cline Elementary, Carrie Lee Elementary, Decorah Middle School, Decorah High School

DCSD reports COVID-19 data in alignment with the direction of the Iowa Department of Public Health. The full guidance can be found at the link below.

IDPH Information Sharing Guidance for Schools and Local Public Health

CDC Guidance for K-12 Schools

As the graph below indicates, the District has experienced this week the largest number of staff or students in isolation due to a positive COVID-19 test. In his weekly message to families, Superintendent Mark Lane shared, “As we strive to provide a consistently safe and healthy working and learning environment, we highly encourage eligible staff and students to be vaccinated. We also highly encourage masking in alignment with CDC guidance. We ask that everyone practice good hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette. We urge individuals to stay home when sick and to communicate with personal health care providers and our school nurses to understand when it is appropriate to return to school.”

Active COVID Case Comparison 1 14 22
Active Positive COVID-19 Case Comparison 2020-2021 to 2021-2022

At the end of December, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools. The CDC lists the following key takeaways in the introduction to the new guidance.

Key Takeaways

  • Students benefit from in-person learning, and safely returning to in-person instruction continues to be a priority.
  • Vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic. Promoting vaccination can help schools safely return to in-person learning as well as extracurricular activities and sports.
  • CDC recommends universal indoor masking by all students (ages 2 years and older), staff, teachers, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status.
  • New CDC guidance has reduced the recommended time for isolation and quarantine periods to five days. For details see CDC’s page on Quarantine and Isolation.
  • In addition to universal indoor masking, CDC recommends schools maintain at least 3 feet of physical distance between students within classrooms to reduce transmission risk. When it is not possible to maintain a physical distance of at least 3 feet, such as when schools cannot fully reopen while maintaining these distances, it is especially important to layer multiple prevention strategies, such as screening testing.
  • Screening testing, ventilation, handwashing and respiratory etiquette, staying home when sick and getting tested, contact tracing in combination with quarantine and isolation, and cleaning and disinfection are also important layers of prevention to keep schools safe.
  • Students, teachers, and staff should stay home when they have signs of any infectious illness and should be referred to their healthcare provider for testing and care.
  • This guidance emphasizes implementing layered prevention strategies to protect students, teachers, staff, visitors, and other members of their households and support in-person learning.
  • Localities should monitor community transmission, vaccination coverage, screening testing, and occurrence of outbreaks to guide decisions on the level of layered prevention strategies (e.g., physical distancing, screening testing).

Superintendent Search

Tuesday evening, the DCSD Board of Directors met with representatives from Grundmeyer Leader Search (GLS), the firm facilitating the superintendent search. The Board will work with GLS to identify finalists, and in-district interviews will occur Monday, February, 7. Finalists will be announced in the days before the interviews.