Dear LPS Families,
We want to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy 2022, and thank you for helping to make our school year a success with in person instruction!
Lewistown Public Schools (LPS) continues to take the Covid-19 pandemic seriously. Our focus continues to be on slowing the spread through measures such as having ill students/staff stay home or sent home, hygiene/handwashing, sanitation procedures, social distancing when possible, and encouraging students and staff to follow public health recommendations.
There have been some recent changes. As of January 1st, the Fergus County Nurses Office assumed responsibility for all Covid and Public Health duties for Fergus County. The Fergus County Nurses Office (FCNO) phone number is (406) 535-7433. The Central Montana Health District continues to serve the surrounding counties.
Recently, the CDC Covid-19 Isolation and Quarantine guidelines have changed. Fergus County has adopted the new recommendations. Lewistown Public Schools is implementing the guidelines under the direction of the Fergus County Nurses Office. (The new guidelines will be summarized below.)
LPS Positive Case Procedures: If the school is notified of a positive case, the positive case will be directed to the Fergus County Nurses Office for guidance. The positive student will NOT be allowed to return to school until after the Isolation period determined by the FCNO according to current guidelines. The Fergus County Nurses Office will be the primary point of contact, and will be responsible for issuing recommended procedures and/or protocols. Lewistown Public schools will work with the Fergus County Nurses Office.
LPS will inform all families if a positive case has occurred within the school. At the Elementary level, families of the classroom will be informed. Students/Staff may attend school if they do not have any symptoms. The FCNO will complete the interview of the positive student/staff and issue quarantine/testing guidelines.
How YOU Can Help: If you are diagnosed with Covid or test positive, notify your healthcare provider and seek medical attention for severe symptoms. Notify the school and contact the FCNO at 535-7433. Many times you receive your own test results before the FCNO receives them. Notify your close contacts telling them they may have been exposed, and they can contact the FCNO for guidance. The FCNO will determine symptom onset and help to identify close contacts if applicable based on the interview.
In general, practice all of the recommendations to slow the spread in school and outside of school. If you are having any symptoms do not be around others. If you have been identified as a close contact, please follow the FCNO recommendations. Let's all work together to continue to have a great school year!
Summary of CDC guidelines:
Isolation: Anyone who tests positive regardless of vaccination status needs to isolate for at least 5 full days. They can leave the house after day 5 if their symptoms are improving and they are fever free for 24 hours. They should wear a mask for an additional 5 days. Additionally, anyone showing symptoms of Covid-19 or awaiting test results should isolate.
Close Contacts: You do not need to quarantine if you are fully vaccinated or have had a confirmed positive test within the past 90 days. Fully vaccinated definition: over 18 and have received all the recommended vaccines including boosters, or age 5-17 and have received the primary vaccinations. If you are identified as a close contact and meet the above criteria you should wear a mask for 10 days and be tested on or after day 5. Monitor for symptoms and if symptoms develop, get tested and begin isolation.
Quarantine: If you are not fully vaccinated, you should quarantine at home for 5 days. If symptoms do not develop, you should get tested on or after day 5. If the test is negative, you can leave the house, but should continue to monitor for symptoms, and wear a mask for 5 additional days.
(See the CDC website for more detailed instructions)