COVID-19 Protocols for 2022-23
(Updated September 13, 2022)
In general, CHCCS remains a mask-recommended, but optional district. Masks continue to be provided for students and staff upon request. Exceptions to this protocol are outlined in the COVID-19 Guidance infographic below. Schools will no longer require masking in the entire building when there are clusters of 5+ positive cases in a small group or a cumulative total of 15+ positive cases in a school.
Notification: CHCCS will continue to notify school staff, students and families about positive cases in the following ways:
Case counts reported to CHCCS, organized by school, are tracked and updated each day on our COVID-19 dashboard. Please check this often, as schools are no longer expected to issue notifications about potential exposures each time there is one positive case connected to the school setting (e.g. bus, class, lunchroom, activity group, sports team, etc.).
If there is a cluster of 5+ cases in a small group or a cumulative total of 15+ cases in an entire school (within any 14-day period), the principal will issue email and/or phone notifications to the entire school community. NEW (as of 9/13): If that occurs, the school will strongly encourage masking indoors and on buses, but will not require it (this is a change from the protocol CHCCS used to begin the 2022-23 school year.)
Contact tracing: CHCCS schools no longer implement universal contact tracing.
CASES, CLUSTERS AND COMMUNITY LEVELS
Vaccination: CHCCS strongly encourages COVID-19 vaccination for employees and students, as well as boosters for those who are eligible. The CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccines for everyone ages 6 months and older and boosters for everyone ages 5 years and older if eligible. Moving forward, the district will no longer require COVID-19 vaccinations for all district staff and will not require to identify those employees with medical and religious exemptions.
Updated COVID-19 Booster Available for People 5 and Older: CHCCS encourages eligible students and staff to get an updated COVID-19 booster. The updated bivalent booster is now available for people 5 and older, two months after they finish their primary series or any booster dose. It offers the most up-to-date protection against the latest Omicron variants. The booster, like all COVID-19 vaccines, is safe to get alongside the annual flu vaccine. Click on the links for vaccination locations and more information on COVID-19 boosters.
CHCCS will no longer require district staff to report their vaccination status and participate in a COVID-19 screening program if they are unvaccinated. The district will no longer require weekly COVID-19 testing for all employees who are not fully vaccinated and for students who are not fully vaccinated but who also participate in, coach, or sponsor athletics, co-curricular, and extracurricular activities.
At-Home COVID-19 Testing Kits: All students and employees will receive a set of COVID-19 antigen test kits to take home for rapid testing. Home testing kits will be sent home at the beginning of the year and on request of staff and students. These tests can be used for routine testing, testing when symptomatic, or after exposure. Distribution details will be communicated by your school.
School-based testing: The district will no longer offer school-based weekly screening tests for asymptomatic individuals.
Diagnostic testing: For students and employees who develop COVID-19 symptoms while at school or work, school nurses will have the ability to do diagnostic antigen and PCR testing. This will require the student or staff member to be registered with MAKO. A new registration is needed this year, even if registered last year. To register with MAKO, go to our COVID-19 Dashboard and click on the "Testing" tab.
VENTILATION & FILTRATION
Ventilation and filtration: HEPA air filters have been purchased and installed in every classroom and office in the district. The CDC recommends ventilation and filtration in school buildings to reduce the number of virus particles in the air.
Eating outdoors: Schools will have the option of eating outdoors.
Physical distancing: CHCCS schools will no longer implement physical distancing strategies.
The StrongSchoolsNC Toolkit has been ‘sunset’ by the state. Moving forward, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools will receive COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as state and local health departments.
For PreK, afterschool and childcare settings, North Carolina and Orange County continue to follow the guidance outlined in the NC Child Care Strong Toolkit.
If CHCCS needs to take additional immediate action to respond to COVID-19 cases, or if there are new requirements from local, state or national health officials, then staff, students and families will receive detailed information at that time.
Be sure to check our COVID-19 Dashboard throughout the school year for daily updates on positive cases of COVID-19, vaccination and testing opportunities, health strategies and other important information.