COVID Protocols

COVID Protocols -- 2021-2022 School Year

Updated 1.6.22

The health and safety of the community remain a high priority at Marquette University High School. The following health and safety updates are meant to advise students, parents, and staff on the MUHS protocols during the second semester of the 2021-22 school year. Additional updates may be forthcoming as the situation evolves.

Current Context:

  • All students and employees at MUHS are vaccine eligible.
  • The current vaccination level among students and employees at MUHS is over 85%.
  • Milwaukee County transmission levels have fluctuated between substantial and high in recent months.
  • The Omicron variant is quite contagious and has shown substantial health risks to unvaccinated individuals.

Face Mask Policy

It is the school’s intent to make face masks optional but strongly recommended for students, staff, or parents who are not fully vaccinated while indoors. We fully expect that students will choose to wear masks during the school day.

MUHS administration, faculty, and staff are committed to creating a positive culture where personal health decisions, including the decision to wear or not wear a face-covering during school, will be embraced and welcomed. All members of the MUHS community are expected to respect the health decisions of others.

Mask Expectations

MUHS expects that masks be worn by all students and employees, including both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, for full community-wide gatherings, assemblies, and liturgical celebrations where social distancing is not possible. Face masks are required for all individuals on school buses and vans per federal order. MUHS may require masks for all students regardless of vaccination status for certain activities such as indoor contact sports, chorus, or dances. This will be clearly communicated to participants. Students should have a mask with them for each school day.

Mask Requirement for Short-Term Periods

MUHS may implement universal masking for all individuals for a period of time when an increase in positive COVID-19 cases occurs within the school community. MUHS will declare a short-term mask requirement if the number of current COVID-19 positive cases reaches a substantial level, 2.5% of our total student and staff population. The short-term mask requirement would end when the confirmed positive COVID-19 cases drop below 1% of the MUHS student and staff population.

MUHS community members will be notified in advance if and when MUHS would begin or end a short-term mask requirement period. MUHS reserves the right to modify the criteria used to declare a mask requirement period over the course of the year to best protect the health and safety of the community.

Health Screenings and Illness

Daily health check-ins will not be required of students prior to arriving at school. MUHS encourages students, parents, and employees to monitor their health. Those who are experiencing COVID symptoms should stay home and return to school once symptom-free for 24 hours, regardless of vaccination status. Symptoms that do not necessitate absence from school include those commonly experienced by the individual, such as seasonal allergies or other regular health symptoms. In any case that a student tests positive for COVID-19, he or his parent must inform the School Nurse as soon as possible to be directed regarding the necessary period of isolation. In most cases, this will be 5 days after symptoms appeared or a positive test and no fever without fever-reducing medication for at least 24 hours and improvement in any other symptoms.

Isolations

MUHS will follow the CDC guidance regarding COVID-19 isolation and quarantine requirements. Everyone who has presumed or confirmed COVID-19 should stay home and isolate themselves from other people for at least 5 full days (day 1 is the date of the positive test for asymptomatic persons). If the infected person has no symptoms or the symptoms have improved the person may return to school after the required isolation period. They must wear a mask after returning to school for an additional 5 days. People who are confirmed to have COVID-19 or are showing symptoms of COVID-19 need to be isolated regardless of their vaccination status. This includes:

  • People who have a positive viral test for COVID-19, regardless of whether or not they have symptoms.
  • People with symptoms of COVID-19, including people who are awaiting test results or have not been tested. People with symptoms should isolate themselves even if they do not know if they have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19.

Parents of students with a positive COVID diagnosis should inform the school nurse immediately at nurse@muhs.edu. The nurse will provide the approved date of return to school.

Close Contacts and Quarantines

The School Nurse and COVID Coordinator will carry out contact tracing procedures when there is a positive COVID-19 case. MUHS will cooperate with local health officials as they carry out their own procedures.

Anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic individuals, 2 days prior to test specimen collection) until the time the positive person is isolated is considered a close contact.

Those who are close contacts with someone with COVID-19, will quarantine if they are in one of the following groups:

  • People who are over 18 years old and completed the primary series of COVID vaccine, but have not received a recommended booster shot when eligible.
  • People who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (completing the primary series) over 2 months ago and have not received a recommended booster shot.
  • People who are not vaccinated or have not completed a primary vaccine series.

Those who are required to quarantine will stay home and away from other people for at least 5 days (day 0 through day 5) after their last contact with people with COVID-19. If they develop symptoms, they should get tested immediately and quarantine until they receive test results.

If an asymptomatic student has a close contact and is in one of the above groups, he may remain in school for in-person learning and not quarantine if he tests negative for COVID each day during the five days following the exposure. The school nurse will determine the timing of required testing. Those who “test to stay” must remain masked at all times in school (with the exception of lunch) as an alternative to a required quarantine.

Quarantined students will view classes remotely after a 24-hour notice is given to teachers. A completed vaccination series (including a booster) is the best strategy for students to avoid missing class time or co-curricular activities as fully vaccinated students will not be required to quarantine following a close contact exposure.

Students who are fully vaccinated (including the booster when eligible) do NOT need to quarantine after contact with someone who had COVID-19 unless they have symptoms. Fully vaccinated “close contacts” will be required to mask for 5 days, or until they receive a negative test. These individuals are advised to obtain a COVID-19 test 3-5 days after their known exposure, even if they do not develop symptoms.

Testing

Students may receive a COVID-19 rapid antigen test at MUHS Main Office with a registration form completed by a parent. MUHS may test other family members as well. A registration is needed for every test completed. Please select "Non-public site" for location. Hours: Weekdays 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. No appointment needed before 12 p.m. on school days.

Physical Distancing

MUHS will maintain physical distancing of three feet for individuals in all classrooms and most common gathering areas. Distancing may not be maintained during all-school assemblies and transitions between classes. All hallways and stairways will return to multi-directional. MUHS may provide an option of three feet distancing during school assemblies and six feet distancing in lunch spaces for interested individuals.

Cleaning, Sanitizing and Air

MUHS will provide hand sanitizing stations in all classrooms and general areas of the building. Daily cleaning practices and disinfection of hard surfaces throughout the building will remain in place. Science lab equipment materials will also be cleaned at the end of the school day. MUHS will provide increased building airflow and filtration using hospital grade, Merv-13 filters.

Hilltoppers@Home Program

MUHS will not maintain a full-time virtual learning program option. In-person classroom instruction will be the sole learning platform for 2021-2022. MUHS’s learning management system, Moodle, will be maintained as a primary academic resource during in-person instruction and communication to students outside of class. Remote learning will only be provided to students who are required to quarantine due to close contacts or to COVID-19 positive individuals on a case-by-case basis after a 24-hour notice is given to teachers. If medically necessary, accommodations may be made for students with serious health concerns or disabilities.

Visitor Policy

Parents and visitors are welcome at all school events. Visitors will check in to the Security Station to report any COVID symptoms. MUHS encourages all parents and visitors to avoid participating in school events if they have experienced COVID-19 symptoms within the previous 24 hours, regardless of vaccination status. In the event that 3’ social distancing cannot be maintained, MUHS may ask visitors to be masked.

Overnight Policy

Students who attend overnight trips, including retreats and co-curricular activities, must test negative for COVID prior to their participation. MUHS will generally suspend overnight trips when there is a substantial level of infection in the school (2.5% or higher of the total student and staff population.)


MUHS reserves the right to adjust, expand or remove any of these policies.