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COVID-19 Safety Updates for the Return to School, January 3, 2022
Dear WCCUSD Community:
I hope that everyone is having a restful and restorative winter break. I am looking forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Monday, January 3.
As we return from break to in-person learning, I want to remind everyone about COVID-19 safety and share an update on our safety protocols.
We are once again seeing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge across the country because of the omicron variant. Safety is our top priority, and we care very much about the health of students, staff and educators and want our schools to be as safe as possible for learning to take place.
Experts remind us that the best way to protect everyone against the virus is to get vaccinated. In WCCUSD, all students ages 12 and older need to be fully vaccinated by February 18, 2022 to continue in-person learning, unless they have an approved medical exemption. Click here to upload your students vaccination card, and click here for more information. You can also find more information on our COVID-19 efforts on our website, including our safety guide, frequently asked questions, register for a COVID-19 test, find a vaccine clinic, and more.
If you are returning from a trip this winter break, or have been in a group setting or around people who have traveled or are not vaccinated, we recommend your student gets tested and has a negative test before returning to school. If your student is feeling sick or exhibiting any symptoms, please do not bring them to school. We recommend getting a test from either your health care provider or County Health Services; do not bring your child to school to get tested if they are sick or exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.
One of the best ways to protect yourself and those around you from the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask, and to do so properly. That means making sure your student is wearing a proper-sized mask for their age level, and the mask covers their nose and mouth. Here is masking guidance from the CDC and you can read more about our masking protocol in the district safety guide.
We have secured supplemental COVID-19 at-home testing kits through the Contra Costa County Office of Education that have been provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and are now waiting for the tests to arrive. These tests are not intended to replace our current testing system, only amplify it so we can test as many in our community as possible. Here is CDPH’s K-12 Schools Guidance, which was recently updated. We will update the community as soon as we have more information on the logistics on how we can distribute these tests.
Beginning Tuesday, January 4, the District will provide three additional testing locations to help keep school communities safe. The testing sites are currently for students and staff only, and will be open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the following locations:
- Alvarado Campus - El Cerrito/Kensington Área
- District Office (Parking Lot) - Richmond/San Pablo Area
- Location TBD - Hercules/Pinole Area
We are currently working on a location for the Hercules/Pinole area and will update the community once the location is finalized.
Students and staff must register and make an appointment to test at the additional sites. Regular weekly testing and athletic testing are still available at school sites. You do not have to make an appointment to receive a regular or athletic weekly test.
WCCUSD has partnered with Contra Costa County Health Services to host mobile vaccination clinics at our schools, which we will continue in 2022. These clinics will offer COVID-19 vaccination booster shots. We regularly update the list of school clinics here.
If you have not done so already, I do encourage you to get vaccinated or get your booster shot. Thank you to everyone in the community for taking the necessary steps to keep us safe.
Dr. Kenneth Chris Hurst