Important Health & Safety Updates

January 1, 2022

With school resuming from the winter break on Monday, January 3rd, families should be aware of some significant changes and updates related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH) has made changes to its masking, isolation, quarantine, and testing guidance. As a result of these changes, and to help reduce unnecessary student quarantines, Souderton Area School District will need to require masks for all students, staff and visitors for a two-week period beginning January 3rd, 2022.

Our intention is to revert to a mask optional policy on January 18th. We will keep our community informed as information develops and prior to the end of the two-week period.

Summary of changes and updates:

Masking
Masks will be required for all SASD students, staff, and visitors for the two-week period beginning January 3rd, 2022. Students with a previously approved mask exemption will retain their exempt status.

Isolation/Quarantine
Changes from the Montgomery County Office of Public Health include:

  • The isolation period for individuals who contract COVID-19 has been reduced to 5 days; a mask must be worn at all times on days 6-10
  • The quarantine period for individuals exposed to a positive case has been reduced to 5 days
  • The definition of "fully vaccinated" has been changed to reflect recommendations on vaccine boosters

*To help determine when and how to isolate/quarantine, please see the COVID-19 Isolation/Quarantine Quick Reference.

Parents should also be reminded that students should stay home, and the school principal and nurse should be contacted, if the student is experiencing symptoms; if they have had a positive COVID-19 test, or are awaiting results of a test; or if a parent, guardian, sibling, or other household contact is sick and has had a positive COVID-19 test (only unvaccinated students would need to quarantine in this case). If necessary, students should isolate or quarantine based on the updated MCOPH guidelines (as of 12/31/2021), which may reduce the isolation/quarantine period to 5 days from the first appearance of symptoms or exposure, if the exposed person is asymptomatic on day 5.

COVID Tests
Due to testing supply shortages and the burden on schools and families, SASD will accept positive and negative results from at-home antigen testing. Results from at-home antigen tests will be considered when someone is symptomatic or exposed to COVID-19. Families will be asked to report the following information: type of test, brand name, date of test, and result.

ADDITIONAL REMINDERS:

Student Vaccination Status
If your child has received COVID vaccines, including the booster shot, outside of district clinics, please provide updated vaccination status to their school nurse. 

Test to Stay for Close Contacts at School
For students identified as a close contact to an individual who is positive for COVID-19, parents will be contacted and offered to participate in the Test to Stay program as an alternative to quarantining at home. For more information about program eligibility and protocols, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions about Test to Stay page.

For additional information, please visit the Health Services section of our Web site.