COVID-19 FAQs

Farmington Area Public Schools 

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Last update: October 4, 2021


What health and safety protocols will the district implement during the 2021-2022 school year?

For information on face coverings, physical distancing, cleaning and sanitizing, health screening, isolation, quarantine and other health and safety protocols planned for the 2021-2022 school year, please see our 2021 Back to School FAQ linked here.

 

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Are face coverings required in ISD 192 buildings and busses?

  • Face coverings are required on all district provided transportation in accordance with federal guidelines.
  • As of August 23, 2021, to help our learners have consistent learning experiences with as few disruptions as possible and due to an increasing number of cases in Dakota County and in zip code 55024, in addition to the limited access to vaccination for our elementary and middle school learners, all learners, staff, and visitors will be required to wear a face covering inside school buildings with programming for ages 3-8th grade. At this time, masking for learners and staff in grades 9-12 is still strongly recommended. 
  • Symptomatic people will be required to wear a face covering and isolate while waiting to go home or visiting the nurse.

What type of face coverings are recommended?

The Minnesota Department of Health has published Recommendations for Wearing Masks (click here to view), which include:

  • Wear masks with two or more layers of tightly woven fabric. Face coverings made of thinner, loosely woven, or single-layer fabric such as certain types of masks, scarves, neck gaiters, or bandannas are not as effective for blocking droplets that come out when speaking, coughing, or sneezing, and should only be used if nothing else is available. If you wear a scarf or neck gaiter for warmth, also wear a mask underneath it.
  • Any masks that incorporate a valve that is designed to facilitate easy exhaling, mesh masks, or masks with openings, holes, visible gaps in the design or material, or vents are NOT sufficient face coverings because they allow droplets to be released from the mask.

What criteria is ISD 192 using to determine when masks are required and when they are recommended?


Face Covering protocol for Grades K-8 and Ages 3-5 (early learning programs) 
  • If the 14-day COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents of Dakota County (as calculated by weekly Friday reports from Dakota County Public Health) is at 24.99 or less cases per 10,000:
    • All persons are strongly recommended to wear face coverings when inside school buildings.
    • Information about COVID-19 cases in school will be shared by the school district. 
  • If the 14-day COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents of Dakota County (as calculated by weekly Friday reports from Dakota County Public Health) is at 25 or more cases per 10,000:
    • All persons are required to wear face coverings when inside school buildings with programming for ages 3-8th grade.
    • Requirement will remain in place a minimum of two weeks and until cases per 10,000 for Dakota County fall below 20 for five consecutive days or Dakota County positivity rate falls below 3%. When this happens, face coverings will no longer be required.
    • Information about COVID-19 cases in school will be shared by the school district. 

Face Covering Protocol for Grades 9-12

  • If the 14-day COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents of Dakota County (as calculated by weekly Friday reports from Dakota County Public Health) is at 49.99 or less cases per 10,000:
    • All persons are strongly recommended to wear face coverings when inside school buildings.
    • Information about COVID-19 cases in school will be shared by the school district. 
  • If the 14-day COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents of Dakota County (as calculated by weekly Friday reports from Dakota County Public Health) is at 50 or more cases per 10,000:
    • All persons are required to wear face coverings when inside all district buildings.
    • Requirement will remain in place a minimum of two weeks and until cases per 10,000 for Dakota County fall below 40 for five consecutive days or Dakota County positivity rate falls below 5%. When this happens, face coverings will no longer be required.
    • Information about COVID-19 cases in school will be shared by the school district. 

How can Minnesotans can get a COVID-19 test?

  • Walk in or schedule an appointment for a free test at one of the state's 11 community testing sites across Minnesota: COVID-19 Community Testing Sites.
  • Order a free test through the state’s at-home testing program: COVID-19 Test at Home.
  • Find other testing options near them through the state’s Find Testing Locations map, including through local providers, pharmacies and clinics: Find Testing Locations.

Who should get tested?

According to the Minnesota Department of Health: 

  • Even if you are vaccinated, Minnesotans should get tested: 
    • if you have symptoms of the virus;
    • if you have had close contact with someone who has COVID-19;
    • if you are returning from international travel;
    • or if you have attended a large gathering or event where people are not wearing masks and are not able to stay 6 feet apart. 
  • People who are unvaccinated should test before travel (domestic or international).
  • Unvaccinated teachers, staff and students in K-12 should test weekly at a minimum or more frequently per CDC guidance. 

 How many ISD 192 students/staff have confirmed cases of COVID-19? How many are in quarantine? 

Please see our COVID-19 Dashboard for information about COVID-19 cases in ISD 192.


Where can learners and families find support and assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Please see our Community Resources page for assistance with food, health, housing, technology, employment, childcare and more. Dakota County also has many resources available on their website. 

 

What about school attendance during the COVID-19 pandemic (and related questions such as "When must my child stay home?" and "What if my child has close contact with someone with COVID-19?" and "Should I get my child tested?")?

As a reminder all families must complete a Daily Health Screening prior to sending learners to school.

The Minnesota Department of Health has provided a Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms in Youth, Student, and Child Care Programs (linked here)

If your learner has had a COVID-19 test and is awaiting results, they (and any learners in the household) cannot attend school or any activities until the building nurse or building administrator has verified they are medically cleared to return. Please see the linked resource for additional information from MDH regarding What to do While You Wait for a COVID-19 Test Result. If it is determined that a learner must quarantine or isolate the building nurse or building administrator will help determine the date of return.

What about middle school and high school athletics? 

ISD 192 will use and interpret the MSHSL guidelines as a basis for its COVID-19 safety plans regarding activities and athletics.  If face coverings become required for students in grades 9-12, the MSHSL guidelines will be applied to Minnesota State High School League activities in this way:

- Outdoor activities: no masking required

- Indoor activities:

-Students will wear a face mask indoors unless they are actively engaged in an athletic drill, scrimmage, performance, or competition. Students may choose to wear a face mask during an athletic drill, scrimmage, performance, or competition.

-Coaches will wear a face mask indoors unless they are actively engaged in coaching a drill, scrimmage, performance, or competition. Coaches may choose to wear a face mask during an athletic drill, scrimmage, performance, or competition.

Note: These guidelines are subject to change without advance notice. 


How is ISD 192 using COVID Relief Funding?

Please refer to the ISD 192 COVID Relief Funding Brief linked here.

What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is a viral respiratory illness caused by a coronavirus that has not been found in people before. COVID-19 presents a range of illnesses. While many cases may be mild to moderate with symptoms similar to colds and flu, some cases may be more severe. The risk of severe illness seems to be higher for older people and those with underlying health conditions. There are still things we do not know. 


What should I do if I or someone in my family has COVID-19 symptoms?
The Minnesota Department of Health has provided a Decision Tree for People with COVID-19 Symptoms in Youth, Student, and Child Care Programs (linked here)

  • What if we need to quarantine? If your family needs to quarantine, your student will continue to be supported in their learning by their assigned teachers.  

What about traveling outside the area? 

We request that families be aware of, and comply with, the recommendations of the CDC with regard to travel abroad. If families choose to travel outside the country, the CDC recommends a 14-day self-imposed quarantine. School districts do not have authority to impose or monitor quarantines for individual students or families but request that families comply with these recommendations.


What actions should we take to protect our family?

The Minnesota Department of Health indicates that following these practices is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family: — Get vaccinated if you are able. — Wear a mask indoors if you are not fully vaccinated.  

— Encourage frequent and thorough hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Model frequent hand washing in your home and workplace.

— Keep children home from school until fever-free for 24 hours without fever-reducing medication.

— Stay home from work if you are sick.

— If you plan to go to the doctor with flu-like symptoms, please call ahead so the clinic can be prepared for your arrival.

Additionally, you may take this opportunity to review your family’s own emergency plans. Think about backup plans for childcare if school is temporarily closed or if parents, children, or a childcare provider is sick. Think about necessary items to have at home, including prescription medication (check your refill dates), and non-prescription medications, such as fever-reducing medications.


How do we talk with our children about COVID-19?

The National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) has prepared guidance for parents to talk with their children about COVID-19.

Read the NASP guidance in English

Read the NASP guidance in Spanish


How does Farmington Area Public Schools stay up-to-date about COVID-19?

Student and staff health and safety is a top priority. We are monitoring developments closely and receive strong support from our partners at the Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Education. Farmington Area Public Schools is following the guidance of these and other state agencies.


Further Questions

If you have questions about infectious diseases, please call the Minnesota Department of Health at (651)201-5414.


If you have questions about Farmington Area Public Schools’ preparation for COVID-19, please contact the Office of the Superintendent at (651)463-5013. 


Additional Resources:

Minnesota Department of Health resources:

— In English: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basics.pdf

— In Spanish: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basicsspanish.pdf

— In Somali: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/basicssomali.pdf



Previous Messages Sent to Families:

From the 2021-2022 School Year: August 24, 2021, Updated Fall Protocols July 29, Fall 2021 Health and Safety Information
From the 2020-2021 School Year: 
January 5, Elementary Learning Model Update

November 13, Upcoming Transition to Distance Learning November 6, Learning Model Update October 27, Hybrid Schedule Update & COVID-19 Outlook October 14, Fall Update from Superintendent Berg September 11, Food Service Update, Fall 2020 September 4, Important Health Reminders August 5, School Begins in Hybrid Model

July 31, Fall Learning Update 

July 24, Hybrid Learning Options - Your Feedback Requested

July 21, Optional Distance Learning

July 15, Back to School Planning - Your Feedback Requested


From the 2019-2020 School Year:

April 23, 2020 - Schools Closed for Remainder of Year

2019-2020 Superintendent Video Updates (Every Friday, Beginning April 3)

March 25, 2020 - Distance Learning to Begin March 30

March 17, 2020 - Resources for Families 

March 16, 2020 - Meals and Childcare (March 17-20) 

March 16, 2020 - Update on School Closing March 17-20

March 15, 2020

March 13, 2020

March 10, 2020 

February 28, 2020