Dear Shepherd Elementary School,
This letter is to inform you that an individual who was last present at Shepherd on August 25, 2021, has since reported a positive test for coronavirus (COVID-19). The individual is no longer on campus and will not return until medically cleared. Upon notification of the positive case, and out of an abundance of caution, the building will be cleaned and disinfected, including classrooms, office areas, conference rooms, and other common areas.
Persons for whom we know were in close contact with the individual were immediately notified and provided guidance based on DC Health and CDC guidelines. Close contact is defined as: (1) being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of an individual with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time (e.g., being in the same office or classroom as a positive and symptomatic individual), or (2) having direct contact with the infectious secretions from an individual with COVID-19 (e.g., being coughed on). Note: The definition of “close contact” does not include all other individuals on the same floor or in the same building as a positive individual unless they also meet criteria (1) or (2).
Fully vaccinated people do not need to quarantine if they have a close contact exposure to someone with COVID-19, as long as they don’t have symptoms. Fully vaccinated people who experience any symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 should isolate and contact their healthcare provider for testing. An individual can be considered fully vaccinated 14 days after completion of a COVID‐19 vaccination series (after the second dose of a 2‐dose series, or after one dose of a single‐dose vaccine).
If you, your student, or anyone in your household is looking to get the COVID-19 vaccine, you can receive it for free at DCPS locations across the District. Visit https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/vaccines/ to learn more. Childhood immunization appointments are also available at these pop-up clinics.
Per current DC Health guidance, you do not need to be tested or undergo voluntary quarantine based on this possible exposure. However, we strongly urge you to closely monitor yourself and your family for symptoms of COVID-19 such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath. If you develop any of these symptoms at all, please stay home and contact your healthcare provider immediately for advice. You should also contact your school to let them know your student will be staying home.
As a reminder, here are the steps that we can all take to keep ourselves, families, and others around us safe from COVID-19:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, especially before eating, after using the restroom, and upon returning home
- Cover your cough and/or sneeze into a tissue then discard in the trash and immediately wash your hands for 20 secs or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, face, and mouth
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
- Stay home if you are sick
- Practice social distancing
- Visit coronavirus.dc.gov for updated information
These are difficult and uncertain times. We are all in this together, and we will get through this together.
Principal, Shepherd Elementary School