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Posted: 26 Tevet 5782,
December 30, 2021

With the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, our community is witnessing a very significant rise in positive cases. 

Fortunately, most cases have been relatively mild, and science has developed effective medical treatments for those infected. Nevertheless, the risks remain, and we are committed to doing everything we can to maintain a safe environment at school.

ICJA’s medical committee has reviewed our existing COVID protocols and created new protections for our students, teachers, and staff. The following is the result of those consultations, effective December 30, 2021 and in place until further notice:

1. Any student, teacher, or staff member with any COVID-like symptoms should not come to school until receiving a negative result on a COVID test (see item #5 for a list of acceptable tests). COVID symptoms include fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough or an unusual headache. 

2. If you, G-d forbid, test positive for COVID-19:

a. Stay home for five days from the onset of symptoms or the positive test date. If you are unsure if you had symptoms before testing positive, use the date of your positive test as “day 0.”

b. If you are asymptomatic or if your symptoms have significantly improved, you can return to school on day six, provided you can strictly mask for at least another five days (total of 10 days), and when eating, maintain at least six feet from others. If you cannot abide by these restrinctions, do not come back to school until ten days have passed.

3. If you were exposed to COVID-19 (i.e., you were within six feet, unmasked and for 15 minutes or more) and are entirely asymptomatic:

a. If you are fully vaccinated (or boosted) within the past six months, no home quarantine is necessary. But to return to school you must strictly mask for ten days from exposure or until you receive a negative PCR after at least five days from exposure (exposure equals “day 0”).

b. If you are unvaccinated or were vaccinated more than six months ago, you must home quarantine for a minimum of five days, and then after receiving a negative COVID test, you can return to school.

4. The only tests accepted for returning to school are a PCR test, a molecular rapid test or a rapid antigen test from a clinic (not an at-home test). To return to routine masking between days six through ten, a negative COVID PCR or molecular test will be required.

5. Masks must remain on throughout the school day and cover both nose and mouth. Failure to do so will result you being sent home immediately without further warning (the “one and done” rule).

6. During breakfast and lunch, you must maintain a minimum three-foot distance when unmasked, have masks off for 15 minutes or less, and have no more than four-six people eating together. Drinks can be sipped during class but only through a straw and without removing your mask.

While this latest wave of COVID is affecting many more people in our school community, even those who are fully vaccinated and do their best to follow all of the safety protocols, we have faith that we will emerge from this stronger and more resolute in our faith in G-d and each other!

Thank you to our medical committee members for their continued guidance – Dr. Avy Dachman, Dr. David Dobkin, Dr. Amy Kaissar, Dr. Ben Katz, and Dr. Dov Shapiro. 

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