The Blue Valley Board of Education voted 4-3 to modify its policy extending the Johnson County Board of Health Order No. 001-21 at the January 2022 board meeting. According to the policy, grades 9-12 and the 18-21 year old program were allowed a mask optional environment effective Nov. 29, 2021, unless the total percentage of students positive or identified for quarantine by the JCDHE exceeds three percent. The board voted to add that if building absences due to illnesses are more than seven percent, then masks will be mandated during the school day. Masks will continue to be optional in all high school and 18-21 buildings outside of the regular school day, following KSHAA guidelines. This modification took effect Wednesday, Jan. 13.
Additionally, the COVID-19 percentages and total cases were reviewed at the Jan. 10 meeting. It was found that Johnson County is currently at high risk, with a 26.6 percent positivity rate.
JCDHE has also ruled that contact tracing and quarantining are no longer efficient or effective means of virus containment, due to such quick and large spread. Schools will no longer be gathering or reporting close contact information or sending communication to students and families that have come within contact of a student positive with COVID-19.
In BVSD, the positivity rate has increased from 8.4 percent to 22.8 percent since Dec. 19-21, the last time that the numbers were counted. According to public comments and a presentation shown during the Jan. 10 meeting, public concern and increasing COVID-19 cases have caused the district to transition away from weekly positive case and close contact reporting to daily attendance reporting. COVID-19 cases will continue to be reported on a building-by-building basis.
If a student were to become infected with COVID-19, that student will now be in an at home quarantine for five days. That student will then be allowed back at school and required to wear a mask for another five days. This includes after school activities and athletics. The student will also be required to have distanced lunch away from other students within that five day period.
Vaccination rates were reviewed at the Monday evening meeting, as well as positive cases. In the 12-17 age group, 62.4 percent are fully vaccinated, with 71.1 percent receiving at least one dose. Among adults 18 and older, 66 percent are fully vaccinated, with 82.5 percent receiving at least one dose.
For more information in the Blue Valley School District and daily updates, visit the BVSD COVID-19 dashboard. https://www.bluevalleyk12.org/Page/36026