Dear Parents and Families:
Happy New Year! I hope that you had a wonderful holiday season and were able to enjoy some well-deserved time with your families, friends, and loved ones. Tomorrow (Monday, January 3) we are excited to welcome our students back to our schools from the winter break as classes resume as scheduled.
Since the start of the pandemic, we have successfully navigated the challenges that COVID-19 and its recent variants (first Delta, now Omicron) have presented by closely adhering to the requirements given to us from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH); it will be no different moving forward.
Below are some reminders about the requirements and recent updates to them from LACDPH that we must all follow as well as some new related items. Please note that this information is subject to change. (Spanish translated PDF is attached)
- Properly wearing masks when indoors is always required.
- Masks continue to be optional when outdoors; however, LACDPH now requires masks to be worn outdoors in crowds when distancing is not possible.
2) Stay home when sick or exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Key symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, a new cough, or difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include but are not limited to chills, muscle or body pain, fatigue, headache, sore throat, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose, or new loss of taste or smell.
If your student has been exposed to anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19, please keep your student at home and contact the school immediately.
3) Testing Information
Monrovia Unified School District has partnered with COVID Clinic to provide free in-district testing for students, teachers and staff, and parents and families. Please visit the COVID-19 section of our district’s website to learn more about this. To find other testing sites in our region, please visit www.covid19.ca.gov/get-tested.
Home test kits will be made available to interested families as soon we receive them. Schools will provide additional information as soon as possible.
4) UPDATED: Isolation protocol for those who test positive COVID-19
LACDPH protocols now allow a student who has tested positive for COVID-19 to return to school after five days if the student either never had symptoms at all, or if the student’s symptoms subsided or greatly improved and there is no fever. In either case, a negative COVID-19 test is required. Your student’s school will have additional information about this and will be able to answer any questions you might have.
5) REMINDER: Vaccinations and Booster Shots
As a reminder, the Pfizer vaccine is currently authorized for everyone ages five and up; a Pfizer booster is authorized for anyone ages sixteen and up. We continue to encourage you to consider getting your student vaccinated or boosted. To learn more about the vaccines and where to get one, visit www.covid19.ca.gov/vaccines.
It feels a little strange that my first message to you all in 2022 is about COVID-19 considering it has been nearly two years since the pandemic started. I think that this speaks to just how challenging navigating things has been for our community, state, and nation. I personally continue to be optimistic about the future and really hope that you will be too. I have no doubt that the start of the second semester will be a great one and that the remainder of the school year will be highly successful.
My team and I will do our best to provide regular updates to you when we receive new information or when circumstances change through communications like this that we will share via Parent Square, on our social media pages (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), and at www.monroviaschools.net. I thank you for your patience as we continue to work quickly to make sense of and implement requirements that change frequently and unexpectedly and that sometimes conflict with previous ones.
Ryan D. Smith, Ed.D.