When the coronavirus outbreak crippled society in late 2019, the public could never have predicted that at the beginning of 2022, they would still be facing the same problem. To face the issue head-on at the return of school, the district has arranged certain protocols to fight back against the pandemic.
During these trying times, students and parents find it difficult to decide when it is appropriate to stay home from school. This district urges that if one is experiencing symptoms of the infamous virus such as chills, coughing, loss of taste or smell, sore throat and fever, they should stay home and get tested. But, finding where to get tested was a problem within itself, and so, the district provides a solution.
“Students may sign up to get an appointment for free testing at the KMPC (Klein Multi-Purpose Center) through the Klein ISD website,” head nurse Ronnie Howard said. “There are also many other places to get a test such as CVS, Walgreens or even your doctor’s office. Harris County also offers free testing at various places and times which you can google to find the site closest to you to sign up for an appointment.”
For more information on the free drive-through COVID testing site, Klein ISD employees and students can visit https://kisd.us/COVIDTesting. Furthermore, the government supplies free tests to take at home through https://www.covidtests.gov/. According to the site, orders include four individual rapid COVID tests and ship for free.
“Did you know every home in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests?” Director of Health Services Yvonne Clarke said. “The tests are completely free and are shipped through the post office.”
Once a student tests positive for the virus, there are certain steps that should be followed to ensure the safety of others on campus.
“If a student tests positive for COVID-19, their parent should notify attendance in Skyward like they would for any other absence. The attendance office then shares information with the nurse who does a follow-up phone call to the parent to collect further information,” Howard said. “What we are looking for is the date of onset of symptoms, the last day the student was on campus and the date the student took the COVID test that is positive. From that date we will determine the date Klein ISD recommends returning to school. When returning to school, we ask that the student stop by the school clinic to get a temperature check before heading on to class.”
Just as steps after testing positive are in place, other criteria must be met in order to return to school. To come back to campus the individual must wait five days from when they received results, have their symptoms improve and be fever-free for 24 hours without any medication.
“Remember to turn in a medical note to the attendance office upon your return to school,” Howard said.
To combat new COVID strains and variants, the administration has put in place many practices to prevent infection in the first place. Additional protocols such as hand sanitizer stations around campus and the encouragement of good hygiene are also helping.
“Studies and the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) say that the coronavirus is spreading through really small microscopic air droplets, so we currently have upgraded air filtration systems to catch more of that,” Associate Principal of Administration Jason Anderson said. “Each night the custodian staff are deep cleaning every area of the building. They go in and spray their electrostatic sprayers.”
Moving forward the administration is determined to continue making the health of students their top priority and keeping provisions in place in hopes of putting an end to the spreading virus.