COVID-19 Health & Safety FAQs


Use the links below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding COVID-19 Health & Safety for the 2021-2022 school year:

  1. What mitigation measures are in place to limit the transmission of COVID-19?
  2. How will the District report cases of COVID-19?
  3. Are students required to wear masks?
  4. Is SASD following the mask order?
  5. When will the mask order be lifted?
  6. Are there exemptions to the mask order?
  7. Is documentation from a health care provider required for students seeking mask exemptions?
  8. How will staff know which students are exempted from the mask order?
  9. Will students have to quarantine?
  10. How will students who have to quarantine keep up with instruction?
  11. Is there a virtual-only option for SASD students?
  12. Will sports continue? 


Q1: What mitigation measures are in place to limit the transmission of COVID-19? 

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PHYSICAL DISTANCING

Similar to last school year, students will be physically distanced during the school day as much as possible to limit potential transmission of COVID-19.

SYMPTOM SCREENING & TESTING

Parents should keep children at home when they are exhibiting any symptoms of illness. In children, COVID-19 infection can be mistaken for allergies or other viral infections. When any symptoms are present, parents should keep their child at home and call the school nurse for guidance.

HYGIENE, HANDWASHING & RESPIRATORY ETIQUETTE

Regular hand washing, personal hygiene, and respiratory etiquette will be routinely reinforced with students. Hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and other personal hygiene products will always be available for students and staff.

CLEANING/SANITIZING

Similar to last year, high-touch surfaces in schools will be regularly cleaned and sanitized. The District’s disinfectant fogger sanitizing spray systems will continue to be employed daily to provide safe, hospital-grade sanitization of classrooms and common areas.

INCREASED VENTILATION

District air filtration systems have been upgraded to the highest capacity MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) filters. Ventilation has been augmented where practicable using single-room air filters, fans, windows, and doors.


 

Q2: How will the District report cases of COVID-19?
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The District’s COVID-19 Dashboard will be updated at least weekly to indicate the current and historical number of cases across the school community.

 


Q3: Are students required to wear masks?
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Yes. Per an order of the Pennsylvania Departments of Health and Education, all students and staff must wear masks or facial coverings while indoors at school or school activities.

For more information, visit the Department of Education’s list of frequently asked questions.

 


Q4: Is SASD following the mask order?
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Yes. All students and staff are required to wear masks or face coverings in school and on school transportation vehicles unless they have an exemption as permitted by the order (see question #7).

 


Q5: When will the mask order be lifted?
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The Pennsylvania Department of Health’s masking order remains in effect until further notice. State officials have indicated that the order will be re-evaluated by October 1, 2021.  If the mask order is lifted, masks will once again be recommended but optional for all, but highly recommended for any unvaccinated individuals.

 


Q6: Are there exemptions to the mask order?
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Yes. All individuals are required to wear face coverings unless the individual has a medical or mental health condition or disability that precludes the wearing of a face covering. Families requesting an exemption from the mask mandate may submit a student mask exemption request form (English | Spanish | Vietnamese). The form requires the parent or guardian to indicate the medical or mental health reason for their child's mask exemption. The completed request form must be submitted to the child's school nurse.

 


Q7: Is documentation from a health care provider required for students seeking mask exemptions?
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When a family submits a mask exemption request form, accompanying documentation is required from the child’s health care provider. If the documentation is not already on file with the school, the parent/guardian will be contacted by the school for further information/documentation as needed.

 


Q8: How will staff know which students are exempted from the mask order?
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Staff are continuously informed of the most current list of students with approved mask exemptions.

 


Q9: Will students have to quarantine?
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In the event of a positive case, SASD school administrators and nurses will conduct contact tracing, inform families, and report to the county any close contacts and resulting quarantines. “Close contact” is defined as being within 6 feet for 15 minutes or more of an individual who is positive for COVID-19.

Unvaccinated students who have close contact with a COVID-positive student in school will be required to quarantine unless both students were properly wearing masks. Vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine but will be asked to follow certain precautions in the event of close contact.

For more information, visit our isolation and quarantine guidelines.

 


Q10: How will students who have to quarantine keep up with instruction?
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Students who must quarantine will be able to continue to engage in their lessons via Schoology to continue learning while they are out of school.

 


Q11: Is there a virtual-only option for SASD students?
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Yes. Families seeking a virtual-only option may enroll their students in the Souderton Area Virtual Academy.

 


Q12: Will sports continue?
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School sports will continue and will operate consistent with guidance from the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association (PIAA) and the Montgomery County Office of Public Health. Spectators at indoor events are required to wear masks and all spectators are encouraged to maintain physical distancing while attending sporting events.