On Tuesday Jan. 4, schools in the Dawson County School System welcomed students back to class for the spring semester with enhanced safety protocols to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
According to the list of protocols released by the school system and effective as of Jan. 4, the school system will continue contact tracing and notify parents if their students have been directly exposed, or within six feet of an ill student for 15 minutes or longer.
Nonessential visitors will not be permitted inside the schools until further notice, including outside groups but not including mentors, student teachers or others who are there to support curriculum and instruction, the release said.
Schools will avoid large inside gatherings, and whenever possible, schools will keep students spread out during lunch. Social distancing will be encouraged in classrooms and hallways, and sharing of classroom items, supplies and materials will be limited.
Field trips are on hold until further notice, with the exception of CBI and specific curriculum-related trips, the release said. Athletics and outdoor events will continue as scheduled.
The schools will continue frequent cleaning and disinfecting, and students and teachers will continue washing their hands and using hand sanitizer. Water fountains will be turned off so that water bottle refill fountains can be used instead.
Buses will be sanitized after each route, and frequently touched surfaces on the buses will be cleaned. Hand sanitizer will also be provided on buses.
In addition to the list of enhanced safety protocols, the school system also released a COVID-19 help sheet for families, effective Jan. 4 and answering some of the most common questions parents whose child may be sick might ask.
The school system will also continue providing student and staff Covid data, reporting the total number of absences by both students and staff due to active cases of the virus. The report is scheduled to be posted online daily before 4 p.m.
For more information including links to the enhanced safety protocols, the COVID-19 help sheet and the student and staff Covid data, go to https://dawsoncountyschools.org/news/covid_19_updates.