CUSD announces amended health guidelines as pandemic continues


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By Collin Breaux

Although the COVID-19 pandemic shows no end in sight amid the growing spread of the Delta variant, students in the Capistrano Unified School District who have no symptoms of the virus can continue to attend classes in person, a announced CUSD on Friday August 27.

Under amended safety regulations that came into effect on Monday, August 30, unvaccinated students who were within 6 feet of a person who tested positive may remain on campus if they have no symptoms, wear face masks. inside and if the person who tested positive was also masked inside.

Masks must be worn inside CUSD campuses by children and adults, in accordance with California Department of Public Health regulations.

If no mask has been worn indoors, students should stay home for at least seven days, although they are allowed to return if they are negative after the fifth day.

Students in close contact with someone who tests positive should also not be involved in extracurricular activities, sports, or clubs outside of the typical school day.

Fully immunized students do not have to stay home if they do not have symptoms. Students who test positive must stay home for 10 days.

“Students who may not be in school because they are in quarantine will be in short-term independent study, which does not include live daily instruction,” the district guidelines said. “However, they will have access to all curricula and homework through Canvas. Any sick student will not be required to complete their work until they feel better.

Free COVID-19 student self-test kits are available at all school sites, and students can administer them at home.

The new guidelines come as cases continue to rise due to the Delta variant. The school year started on August 17th. As of Tuesday, August 31, 43 schools were listed as having at least one confirmed case.

San Clemente High and Dana Hills High have reported 11 and 12 active cases, respectively, the highest number of any schools currently in the district, according to Online dashboard of confirmed cases of CUSD. SCHS has 3,064 students enrolled for in-person instruction, while DHHS has 2,182 students enrolled.

Cases on the dashboard remain there for 14 days from the first symptoms or the date of the test.

Among the other schools in San Clemente, there were two cases at Bernice Ayer Middle School; three at Las Palmas Primary School; two at Marblehead Elementary School; four at Shorecliffs Middle School; three at Truman Benedict Middle School; and seven at Vista Del Mar Middle School.

In Dana Point, there were eight cases at Palisades Elementary School and two at the RH Dana Exceptional Needs Facility.

And in San Juan Capistrano, there were four cases at Ambuehl Primary School; four at Marco Forster Middle School; three at San Juan Elementary School; three at San Juan Hills High School; and six at Wagon Wheel Elementary School.

At Rancho Mission Viejo, there have been four cases at Esencia K-8.

In schools whose boundaries include these towns, there have been eight cases at Capistrano Valley High School; two at Fred Newhart Middle School; two at Moulton Elementary School; three at Niguel Hills Middle School; three at Tesoro High School; and four at Viejo Primary School.

Those numbers represented an increase from the number of cases in early June, when only Vista Del Mar Elementary School and Niguel Hills Middle School had one case each.

Collin Breaux

Collin Breaux covers San Juan Capistrano and other South Orange County news as editor of The Capistrano Dispatch. Before moving to California, he covered Hurricane Michael, politics and education in Panama City, Florida. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]

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