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BPS releases statement on masks as students return to school this week from break

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Hello BPS Families,

Brevard Public Schools hope everyone enjoyed the winter break and are ready for the start of the second semester.  As you are probably aware, the COVID-19 Omicron variant has spread rapidly in our county. The latest weekly COVID-19 Situation Report shows 814.6 cases per 100,000 people which is up from 50.1 cases per 100,000 people in December.

During the winter break BPS leadership have stayed in touch with our local Department of Health to make sure we have the latest data on COVID-19 cases, testing availability, vaccination availability and the forecast for COVID-19 cases for the coming weeks.  With that in mind, we want to outline safety measures that are already in place and offer important guidance for families and employees.

  • Facemasks are strongly encouraged for adults and students while on BPS property. We realize this is a choice and not a requirement, but masks remain a valuable tool to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Early research shows a N-95 and KN-95 are the best masks to stop spread of the Omicron variant.  BPS has 25,000 of these masks available for staff and visitors and they will be supplied to each school and work site.  In addition, we have roughly 11,000 KN-95 masks for children.  These will also be made available to our schools.  More masks will be ordered as we go through our supply.
  • The vaccine is readily available for people five years of age and older. Being vaccinated helps avoid COVID completely or can limit the impact of symptoms if someone does test positive. We strongly suggest people get vaccinated and get the booster shot.
  • Traditional mitigation still works. BPS encourages everyone to maintain social distancing when possible, regular hand washing and use of hand sanitizer.
  • Staying home if you are feeling sick is a vital step in stopping the spread.  BPS has an expectation that staff and students not come to work or school if they feel ill.

Throughout the pandemic, BPS has been aggressively working to keep schools as safe as possible.  Our current cleaning protocols will continue through the second semester and our Custodial Strike Team will be ready if there is a BPS site that requires extra cleaning.

BPS continues to adhere to the state guidelines when it comes to people who have been exposed to COVID-19 or have tested positive. You can find that flowchart on the BPS website: https://www.brevardschools.org/cms/lib/FL02201431/Centricity/Domain/10728/Covid%2021-22_09.22.21_English.pdf

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As a reminder, 12-month staff return to work on Wednesday and students on Thursday. The district will have a COVID-19 dashboard on Friday and leadership will closely monitor the COVID cases in the school district and across the county.  We know it is a parent and employee choice, but as we begin the new semester, we ask for your engagement as parents and staff to ensure the rest of this school year will be a success for our students. Please review the BPS Covid resource page here: https://www.brevardschools.org/COVID-19 and please remember to stay home if you are sick and strongly consider utilizing all the mitigation strategies to stop the spread.

Thank you.

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