School district to consider COVID-19 plan changes Thursday


BROOKINGS – Brookings School District administration will recommend modifications to the Bobcat Tracks Back-To-School Plan in a school board meeting set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 9, the district announced in a Friday press release. 

The recommendations presented by administration will include moving to Phase II of the revised plan, limiting visitors to buildings, strongly recommending mask wearing by students and staff, and implementing other efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. 

Face-to-face instruction will continue to be recommended as the instructional delivery model. A remote/virtual or online option for instruction will not be provided by the district at this time, the press release says.

“In an ongoing commitment to the safety, security, and well-being of all students and staff, the Brookings School District staff and administration continue to monitor the impact of COVID-19. Three factors are considered in any decision to make a shift in the district COVID-19 Bobcat Tracks plan. The three factors include the impact of COVID-19 in the schools, the spread of COVID-19 in the community, and the impact of COVID-19 in the health care systems in Brookings,” the BSD press release says.

“The district continues to implement multiple mitigation efforts including hand sanitization stations throughout the school, reinforcing proper hygiene and handwashing among students, increased disinfecting efforts in the buildings, monitoring of COVID-19 positive cases and close contacts, physical distancing when possible, and the option to wear face masks within the schools.”

The press release says the administration will recommend contact tracing continue in the district. 

“Working in partnership with the South Dakota Department of Health to mitigate and monitor the spread of COVID-19, the district will recommend to the board contact tracing will include determining close contacts of COVID-positive individuals by considering who was a close contact two days prior to symptom onset or a positive COVID test through the time the COVID-19 positive individual started isolation. Close contacts are defined as those who were within 6 feet or less for 15 consecutive minutes or more of the of COVID-19 positive individual. In the revised contact tracing procedures, it will be recommended that students and staff do not need to quarantine as a close contact if they meet one of the following criteria: 1) Fully vaccinated; 2) Had a positive antibody test within 90 days; 3) Had a positive COVID test within the last 90 days; or 4) Were consistently and properly wearing a mask throughout the entire school day,” the press release continues. 

The district continues to ask parents and guardians to monitor their child’s health. 

“If a child or a family member in the household are ill, children are asked to remain home for the safety and wellbeing of all in the schools. We are all in this together and must remain committed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on the school and community,” the press release says. 

Visit the Brookings School District website for more information at https://www.brookings.k12.sd.us/. A draft of the proposed modified Bobcat Tracks Plan is available there.

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