COVID policies changing next week for School District of Rhinelander
By Star Journal Staff
RHINELANDER – Isolation and quarantine protocols for dealing with COVID-19 in the School District of Rhinelander will change effective Monday, Nov. 29. District Superintendent Eric Burke updated the Hodag Preparedness Plan Nov. 23.
School district nurses will no longer contact trace for active positive students and staff. The district will, however, continue to provide awareness of daily positive cases in the classroom and school on the district’s COVID-19 dashboard at rhinelander.k12.wi.us. Click on the red tab on the lower right corner of the home page.
SDR will also no longer require quarantining for close contact staff or students.
Burke said the changes were made by the administration team and district nurses because they noticed an impact on learning.
“There were situations where kids were being contact traced multiple times and were missing school and struggling,” Burke said. “We’re not saying COVID doesn’t exist; [the protocols] weren’t perfect. Kids were missing school and were not ever testing positive.”
The district will be relying on parents, guardians and family members to monitor for symptoms at home, each morning. Students should not be sent to school if they are sick or showing COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, chills, headache, muscle pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, runny nose, congestion, sore throat and fever of 100 F. or higher.
If a student becomes ill during the school day, schools will continue to follow protocols currently in place, which include isolating the student and making arrangements for the student to be picked up.
Burke said the administration team and nurses meet daily and will continue to monitor updates provided by the Oneida County Health Department and adhere to their current protocol of close contacts identified outside of the school. Close contact cases identified by OCHD will be handled in collaboration with district nurses.
COVID testing is available through the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and SDR at the Hodag Dome 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday for all students, staff and parents in the community. Burke said though dates are not yet set, the district may offer a COVID-19 clinic in conjunction with OCHD for everyone age 5 and older in the future.