River Valley Charter School 

COVID Response Plan 

Based on DESE/DPH Protocols for Responding to COVID-19 Scenarios - SY 2021-22 

August 13, 2021, updated January 31, 2022, updated March 3, 2022

Updated by River Valley Charter School, May 15, 2022 

Introduction 

Symptomatic testing is available at River Valley Charter School for all individuals (including vaccinated, unvaccinated, and those who have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 90 days) that present with COVID-19 symptoms at school as outlined in this guidance.  

DESE and MDPH continue to strongly recommend that all faculty, staff, and eligible students receive the COVID-19 primary vaccine and booster dose(s) for which they are eligible. 

Effective Monday, February 28, the DESE mask requirement was lifted statewide.Going forward, masking requirements are under the authority of individual school districts based on local COVID metrics. Masking continues to be required in school health offices. As always, any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID-19, should be supported in that choice. DESE and MDPH strongly recommend unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks in school settings. 

Section 1: Key Definitions 

COVID-19 Symptoms 

The symptoms list below applies to all individuals, regardless of vaccination status. Individuals who experience any symptoms on the list below should follow the testing and quarantine response protocol for symptomatic individuals. Please note that, consistent with the MDPH Public Health Advisory Regarding COVID-19 Testing, these protocols have been adjusted to recommend, but not require, a COVID-19 test to return to school. 

  • Fever (100.0° Fahrenheit or higher), chills, or shaking chills 

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath 

  • New loss of taste or smell 

  • Muscle aches or body aches 

  • Cough 

  • Sore throat

  • Nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea 

  • Headache when in combination with other symptoms 

  • Fatigue, when in combination with other symptoms 

  • Nasal congestion or runny nose when in combination with other symptoms 

Definition of a Close Contact 

Close contacts are generally defined as individuals who have been within 6 feet of a COVID-19 positive individual while indoors, for at least 15 minutes over the course of 24-hours during the infectious period. Please note that the at-risk exposure time begins 48 hours prior to symptom onset (or 48 hours prior to the time of positive test if asymptomatic) and continues until the time the COVID-19 positive individual is isolated. 

In general, close contacts should follow the testing and quarantine response protocols in this document. However, certain close contacts are exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols as noted below. 

  • Fully vaccinated (asymptomatic) close contacts 

  • Masked close contacts in classrooms and on buses (when both parties are masked and spaced at least 3 feet apart)

  • Close contacts who have had COVID-19 within the past 90 days if: 

The exposure occurred within 90 days of the onset of their own illness AND 

The exposed individual is recovered and remains without COVID-19 symptoms. 

Recommended Testing and Quarantine Response Protocols 

This section outlines testing and quarantine response protocols for symptomatic individuals and for close contacts who are not exempt from testing and quarantine response protocols

Each scenario outlines the duration of any recommended quarantine or isolation, the conditions to be met for the individual to return to school, and any additional considerations. 

  • Protocol A: For individuals who test positive for COVID-19 

  • Protocol B: Protocol for asymptomatic close contacts 

Protocol A: For Individuals who Test Positive 

Duration: Self-isolation for COVID-19 positive cases is a minimum of 5 days after symptom onset or after positive PCR or antigen test in asymptomatic individuals. 

Return to school: After 5 days (return on day 6) and once they have: 

Been without fever for 24 hours (and without taking fever-reducing medications) 

Experienced significant improvement in other symptoms. 

Following the 5-day isolation period, wear a mask for 5 additional days in the school building, other than when eating, drinking, or outside. Note: Return to school should be based on time and symptom resolution. Testing during isolation to return to school is not required. 

Protocol B: Protocol for Asymptomatic Close Contacts 

Close Contacts Outside of School Setting

Asymptomatic, unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts from an exposure that occurred outside of the school setting must stay home and Quarantine at least 5 days from the date of last exposure. 

Return to School: After 5 days, returning on day 6, provided that they: 

Remain asymptomatic, 

Mask in the school setting for days 6-10, other than when eating, drinking, or outside, 

Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10; and, 

Self-isolate if symptoms develop. 

 

For all those exposed, best practice would also include a viral test (antigen or PCR) for COVID-19 on day 5 following exposure. An antigen test may be self-administered and does not need to be proctored or performed by a healthcare professional. 

 

Asymptomatic, vaccinated individuals identified as close contacts from an exposure that occurred outside of the school setting do not need to quarantine at home but must wear a mask in the school setting for five days following the last exposure, other than when eating, drinking, or outside.

Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10; and, 

Self-isolate if symptoms develop. 

Close Contacts Inside the School Setting

Asymptomatic, unvaccinated individuals identified as close contacts from an exposure that occurred inside the school setting may remain in school provided they participate in the Test and Stay program for five school days* and 

Remain asymptomatic, 

Have a negative test result on daily school testing,

Mask in the school setting through day 10, other than when eating, drinking, or outside, 

Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10; and, 

Self-isolate if symptoms develop. 

 

*When the 5 school days from date of exposure includes weekends or holidays, DESE recommends that individuals quarantine on weekends, and if they remain asymptomatic, be tested immediately upon return to school.

As part of Test and Stay, quarantine remains strongly recommended by DESE for individuals outside of school settings. 

 

Asymptomatic, vaccinated individuals identified as close contacts inside the school setting are exempt from testing and quarantine but must wear a mask in the school setting for five days following the last exposure, other than when eating, drinking, or outside.

Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10; and, 

Self-isolate if symptoms develop. 

 

For all those exposed, best practice would also include a viral test (antigen or PCR) for COVID-19 on day 5 following exposure. 

Unvaccinated Close Contacts Not Participating in Test and Stay 

• Duration: Quarantine outside of the school setting is at least 5 days from the date of last exposure 

• Return to School: After 5 days, returning on day 6, provided that they: 

Remain asymptomatic; 

Wear a mask for days 6-10 other than when eating, drinking, or outside, and 

Conduct active monitoring for symptoms through day 10; and,

Self-isolate if symptoms develop. 

 

For all those exposed, best practice would also include a viral test (antigen or PCR) for COVID-19 on day 5 following exposure. 

 

Resources and Support for families in the Greater NBPT area

COVID Food Resources in Greater NBPT