COVID-19 Health and Safety
- Physical/Social Distancing:
Latest research and guidance from health professionals indicates that 3 feet of physical distancing is as effective as 6 feet. Our guidelines and layouts have been updated to keep students physically distanced at 3 feet or more wherever possible.
- Quarantine and Modified Quarantine:
Determining close contacts and length of quarantine for students and staff potentially exposed to COVID-19 is dependent on several factors, including: vaccination status, proper face masks, physical distancing, and length of exposure. Each potential quarantine will be evaluated individually and in partnership with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health. These factors all may impact the length of quarantine from school. One of the biggest factors in preventing long-term quarantine is wearing a proper face covering. Wearing masks will help keep students in school.
- Outdoor Events:
As our ability to adapt to COVID-19 has grown, when possible we will begin allowing certain events outdoors for students where social distancing can be ensured. However, we will still work to limit external visitors from mingling with students whenever possible. Please see specific guidelines for any outdoor events your child may attend. In cases when social distancing is possible outside, like recess and other events, students may have the opportunity to remove their masks for certain periods of time. Students and vaccinated adults may have the opportunity to remove their masks outside when social distancing is possible. Unvaccinated adults should remain masked outdoors while on school property. Indoors, students and adults are expected to be masked at all times.
- Universal Indoor Mask Requirement:
Masks will continue to be required indoors for all adults and students in grades K-12, regardless of vaccination status. While outside, students and vaccinated adults may be provided the option to remove their masks if physical distancing is possible. When distancing is not possible or when an adult is unvaccinated, their masks should remain on while outside. Peer-reviewed, academic research continues to illustrate the effectiveness of masks in preventing the spread of COVID-19, including the Delta Variant. Proper mask wearing is also one of the factors that determines the length of potential student/staff quarantine in schools. Wearing masks will help prevent the need for long-term quarantine and will help keep students in schools.
- Building Visitors:
Visitors to the inside of our buildings will remain limited. Whenever possible, we will aim to limit the mixing of student populations with adults and visitors.
- Cleaning and Sanitation:
We will continue efforts to clean and sanitize common spaces regularly. While COVID-19 is not shown to linger on surfaces, regular cleaning is already a common practice and will continue.
- Health Screening (MODIFIED):
Students who are reported absent will be screened by building staff for COVID-19 symptoms. The school nurse will work with families to determine if additional COVID-19 mitigation steps are needed. Every day, families should review COVID-19 symptoms and determine whether or not it is safe to come to school, but the screener does not need to be completed by families without any symptoms.
We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated now that COVID-19 vaccines are available in the United States. While more COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.
Can a COVID-19 vaccine make me sick with COVID-19? No. None of the COVID-19 vaccines contain the live virus that causes COVID-19 so a COVID-19 vaccine cannot make you sick with COVID-19.
Health Protocols - Confirmed Case
If an individual within a school building tests positive for COVID-19, Brentwood administrators will work directly with the St. Louis County Department of Public Health (DPH) and will follow their guidance for any specific case. In general, the community can expect the following to occur when there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19:
Identify who the individual was in contact with and details of the contact. Mitigating factors that will impact potential quarantine and times include: vaccination status, masks worn by individuals, symptoms, physical distancing (3 feet or greater) and length of exposure.
Based on the tracing, those who have had contact with an individual who has tested positive will be contacted directly with instructions. Since each case is unique and different factors may affect length of quarantine, instructions may differ depending on unique circumstances of each incident.
To protect an individual’s privacy, the district will follow St. Louis County DPH’s instructions on communicating details to anyone who has not had contact with a person testing positive. Positive cases will be reported on the district's incident dashboard, typically within 24 hours of a confirmed case.
If a positive case is confirmed in a building, the Facilities and Custodial team will initiate an in-depth cleaning protocol for all affected areas. For details on cleaning protocols, please see the Facilities & Environment section of this document.
In the event a person diagnosed with COVID-19 is determined to have been in the building and poses a risk to the staff or students, a school may close for 1-2 days for cleaning and disinfection of that building or exposed area if unable to clean during the nighttime closing.
The district may seek closure of a particular classroom, building, or buildings depending on the extent of positive cases. The St. Louis County DPH will provide guidance whenever a positive case appears in one of our buildings regarding closure.
If an individual within a school building experiences any symptoms of COVID-19, the nurse will follow guidelines from the St. Louis County DPH to isolate a sick student or staff member. Students experiencing symptoms will be sent home. Parents are expected to make arrangements to have a student picked up as quickly as possible should they exhibit symptoms during the school day.
Each school has identified a space where a student can be isolated until a parent/guardian is able to pick them up. Families should have a plan in place to quickly pick up a student who experiences symptoms during the school day. Staff members experiencing symptoms will be sent home immediately.
In order to return to school, students and families should expect to have documentation from a physician’s office or the Department of Public Health.
Health Guidelines for Families
In the event of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases within a household, families should consider the following:
If a family member suspects they have COVID-19, see your primary care physician or a St. Louis County DPH clinic as soon as possible. If a student is sent home with COVID symptoms, documentation will be requested for the student to return to school.
If a family member tests positive for COVID, follow the St. Louis County DPH guidance on isolation and quarantine. If a student will miss school, contact the school as soon as possible.
If a student presents symptoms, have them stay home. Do not send students to school with medication to reduce fevers (such as Tylenol or Motrin). Reducing the symptom of fever does not protect others from viruses such as COVID-19.
Families should have a plan in place to pick up their student immediately in the event they present COVID-19 symptoms while at school. Update your emergency contact information in IC so you can be contacted quickly in the event a child needs to be sent home.
School nurses may provide wellness checks on students who have been connected to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19.
The St. Louis County DPH COVID-19 Hotline is available Monday through Friday (7:00 AM - 7:00 PM and Saturday (8:00 AM - Noon): 314-615-2660
Missouri State DHSS Hotline is available 24/7: 877-435-8411
Vaccines are now widely available for people 12 years of age and older. We strongly encourage those who are eligible to get the vaccine as a preventative measure.