COVID-19 Mitigation Update: January 3, 2022

As you may have heard, Omicron is the dominant COVID-19 variant in the United States. While we have faced several variants throughout this pandemic, Omicron is unique and will present challenges for us through this month and perhaps beyond. Over the next few weeks, our mitigation strategies are more important than ever. 

Here is what we have learned and some of what we can expect:   

  • There will be many breakthrough cases with Omicron, getting your booster shot can help. Ensuring your child(ren) are fully vaccinated is critical.

  • Omicron transmits quickly - anywhere from 33 hours to 3 days from close contact or exposure. 

  • Minnesota schools may see positive cases double within days. 

  • We might face increased staffing challenges. 

Reminders about our mitigation strategies: 

  • Masks are required in all Hopkins Schools and buildings. It’s not only important to wear a mask, but also to wear the right kind of mask. Be mindful of the quality of the mask that is being worn and how much coverage it is continually providing.

  • Check your child for symptoms daily and keep them home when they are sick. 

  • It is recommended to test anytime you suspect your child may have COVID. Follow this link for free testing resources. 

  • Getting vaccinated is your strongest defense against serious illness. Vaccinations are free. You can find a list of vaccination sites at this vaccination connector. All adults should receive the booster.

  • Be prepared. Omicron is more contagious than previous variants, which means it is possible that whole classrooms or even an entire school will need to switch to distance learning for a short period of time. While we do not expect conditions to be similar to Mach 2020 or even November 2021, we may need to pivot to distance learning for short bursts of time. 

  • Despite a recent change in quarantine guidance from the CDC, Hopkins Public Schools will continue to follow guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health stating that staff and students who test positive for COVID must stay home a full 10 days from symptom onset, or 10 days from test date, if asymptomatic, and are fever free and feeling better before returning. We will update you if/when this guidance changes.

  • Due to state law, we will soon be requiring staff to disclose their vaccination status and require regular testing for those who are unvaccinated. If you would like more information, this will be discussed at tomorrow’s 5:00 p.m. school board workshop. We will update our Healthy in Hopkins webpage with the final policy decision.