COVID-19 Safety Protocols Update

Harrisburg Community,

Harrisburg Family, 

School is right around the corner, and we are beginning to prepare for the opening activities. The district is working on the back-to-school plan.  Unfortunately, we are still dealing with COVID 19 and, most recently, the Delta Variant.  The plan for the district is to continue to monitor local, state, and national data and work in partnership with health officials.  We will continue to be transparent with our actions, and in return, we will ask for grace and understanding and know we will make decisions based on what is best for our students and staff. 

One piece of our return to school plan that is different and time-sensitive is Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services (PHSS) guidelines regarding close-contact quarantine protocols for students and employees who are fully vaccinated.  We share this information with you now to make the best decision for your family and student.  We do not require students/staff to be vaccinated to return to school. However, vaccination will allow some additional avenues regarding quarantine. 

A positive test will remain the same isolation for ten days from the first signs of symptoms or positive result.  If symptoms linger past the ten days, you must be symptom-free for forty-eight hours.  

Close contact protocols for the opening of school will be as follows.

  • Ten-day quarantine followed by four days of monitoring symptoms and mask-wearing at all times.   
  • Seven-day quarantine with a negative PCR test, followed by seven days of tracking symptoms and mask-wearing at all times.
    • To utilize the shortened quarantine option, you will need to get tested on or after Day 5 of your quarantine. The PCR test is the best option and is more reliable for people without symptoms.  Consult your doctor. 

* If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any time over the fourteen days, please isolate immediately and get tested. 

Please note that if you have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19, you may not need to quarantine.  Vaccinated persons with exposure to someone with suspected or confirmed COVID- 19 are not required to quarantine if they meet all of the following criteria: 

  • Are fully vaccinated (i.e., more than two weeks following receipt of the second dose in a 2-dose series, or more than two weeks following receipt of one dose of a single-dose vaccine). 
  • The individual has remained asymptomatic since the current COVID-19 exposure.

You can read additional information regarding quarantining here: https://www.como.gov/coronavirus/novel-coronavirus-2019-covid-19/.

If you choose to have your student vaccinated or you are a vaccinated staff member, we will need a copy of your proof of vaccination on file at your respective building. 

Students/staff interested in receiving the vaccination, Columbia/Boone County Health and Human Services community vaccination clinics can be found here: https://www.como.gov/covidvaccine/

Thank you,

Steve Combs

Superintendent 

Harrisburg R-VIII School District