WHPS Blog

COVID-Times - WHPS Weekly Update 12/29/2020

Written by Seth Pozzi, Head of School on .

WHPS families:

We are sending the COVID-Times early this week due to the holiday and to encourage every family to test before returning to school in January.

TESTING

Before you return to school in January, we strongly encourage every family to get tested! 

You can book an appointment with LA County or through many pharmacies or urgent cares. If you test by 12/31, you should have results before returning to school on 1/4.

TRAVEL & GATHERINGS = 14 DAY QUARANTINE

Q: Is there room to bend the rules if we travel by car or see family members who tested and/or quarantined first?

A: NO. We are grateful that families are communicating openly with us if they are gathering or traveling. But, at this time, there are absolutely no exceptions to the 14 day quarantine before returning to school.

The LA County Department of Public Health Order (12/28/20)

“For those who traveled...you may have had an exposure to COVID-19. The virus can take up to 14 days to incubate, and for many people the virus causes no illness or symptoms. If you go back to work, go shopping or go to any gatherings at any point, you could easily pass on the virus to others. All it takes is one unfortunate encounter with an individual with COVID-19 for you to become infected, and sadly, for you to go on and infect others. Because of the likelihood of exposure to COVID-19 while traveling outside of LA County, for everyone that traveled or are planning to travel back into LA County, you must quarantine…”

If you travel or gather with anyone who doesn’t live in your home, you are considered potentially exposed, and anything under 14 days (full incubation period) is a calculated risk we are not able to take at this time.

IS THE MORE CONTAGIOUS COVID STRAIN HERE?

On 12/30/2020, Governor Newsom announced that the potentially more transmissible coronavirus strain (B.1.1.7) has been found in California. While there are some signs this strain is able to more easily spread, it does not appear to make people sicker than the other strain and current vaccines should still be effective against it.

Dr. Ferrer (LA County DPH) stated: “Whether the variant is here or isn’t here, the steps we need to take are exactly the same.” The health and safety guidance for schools remains the same: wear masks, physically distance, teach outdoors as much as possible, ventilate well, and wash hands. 


LA COUNTY COVID METRICS

We remain in the most restrictive Tier 1 (widespread)

  • 5 LA County hospitals are in internal disaster mode
    • Treating patients in converted spaces (e.g. conference rooms, etc.)
    • Postponing all non-essential surgeries
    • Using outpatient staff and nurses to assist
  • SOCAL ICU capacity = 0% (leading to potentially rationed care)
  • New COVID-19 cases per day per 100K: 106
    • Adjusted case rate per 100K: 53 
    • Positivity rate: 14.3% 
    • Health equity positivity rate:  20.3% 
    • Hospitalizations: 6,914 (up from 5,866 last week)

QUARANTINE UPDATES 

  • 14 Day Quarantine Required for:
    • Any non-household gatherings
    • Travel (including any travel outside LA County)
    • Known exposure (being within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period)
  • 10 Day Quarantine Required for:
    • Confirmed COVID positive individuals
  • Symptoms:
    • Quarantine/Isolate immediately if you develop COVID-like symptoms.  Don’t wait for the positive test result before quarantining from household members.

SUBMIT YOUR VACCINE QUESTIONS

We will be sharing answers to some of the most common school-related COVID-19 vaccine questions in our January newsletter. Today is your last chance to submit questions for our expert panel to review and answer. Watch for a full list of FAQs next week. 

 

Registration is now open for fall 2021:

Wishing you a safe and happy new year!

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