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Mask Mandate in Effect for Start of Spring Semester
Mask Mandate in Effect for Start of Spring Semester
Alan Wilbourn
Wednesday, January 05, 2022

We have received information from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) that our school district community‚Äôs number of active cases of COVID-19 per 10,000 people is 71 as of 1/3/22. This new data means that the school district has exceeded 30 or more active cases for a consecutive 14-day period.  As per district Policy 1.19: Wearing Masks and Face Coverings, the mask mandate for all schools is automatically back in effect for the start of the spring semester. 

Fayetteville Public Schools will require the wearing of masks by all persons on all campuses to reduce the spread of COVID-19 until further notice.  All students and staff members are required to wear a mask beginning tomorrow, Thursday, January 6, 2022.

The complete policy is available here.

We understand there are questions regarding COVID-19 and school.  District COVID-19 Point of Contact, Melissa Thomas, RN, has provided information below:

Questions about quarantine?

We are aware that the CDC and the Arkansas Department of Health have released updated quarantine guidelines for the general public. While local medical providers may be following the updated guidelines, these guidelines are for the general public and not specific to schools.  Per the Division of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE),  quarantine requirements for students and staff reentering Fayetteville Public Schools remain as follows:

The quarantine period may end for individuals experiencing no symptoms according to the following guidelines: 

  1. After 10 full 24-hour periods since close contact exposure without testing, or 

  2. After seven full 24-hour periods since close contact exposure and after receiving a negative test result (sample taken no earlier than five 24-hour periods after exposure). 

  3. If individuals return to school from these shorter quarantine windows, they should regularly monitor themselves for symptoms to ensure they remain symptom-free and take appropriate precautions (e.g., consistent mask usage) for the duration of the 14-day incubation period. 

Exceptions to Quarantine Requirements

  1. Individuals who have previously tested positive for COVID-19 and recovered within 90 days, as long as they do not develop new symptoms.

  2. Individuals exposed to a confirmed case of COVID-19 will not need to be quarantined if the exposed individual has no symptoms and both the infected and exposed individual consistently and correctly were wearing a mask.

  3. Individuals who are fully vaccinated* will not have to quarantine, provided they do not have symptoms. 

*A person is considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks after having received two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson. 

We anticipate new information on quarantine guidance from DESE in the near future and will communicate any updates in COVID-19 guidance for schools with you as soon as it is received. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we get clarity to ensure compliance with all federal, state, and local requirements.

When do you contact your school nurse for information?

When you have known exposure to COVID-19, complete a COVID-19 online report form. You will be contacted by your school nurse or FPS COVID-19 Point of Contact.  

When you or a family member have tested positive for COVID-19, complete a COVID-19 online report form. You will be contacted by your school nurse or FPS COVID-19 Point of Contact.  

Please complete the online report form for positive home COVID-19 tests as well as those tests performed by a healthcare provider.

When do you contact your healthcare provider for information? 

If you have symptoms that may be consistent for COVID-19 and have questions regarding testing.  Your healthcare provider may refer you for testing for COVID-19 or another health condition.

Thank you for your continued partnership in the health and well-being of our students, staff, and the community.  

Sincerely,

John L Colbert, Ed.D.

Superintendent