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​September 21, 2021

Dear Colleague,

Today I write to share two important health and safety resources for you and your school communities.

Responding to COVID Cases in Schools

The Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH) has created additional guidance to support schools with responding to COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in schools. In alignment with the requirements of Title 28, Chapter 27 of the Pennsylvania Code, schools must:

  • Report positive cases of COVID-19 to DOH for case investigation, contact tracing, and issuance of quarantine and/or isolation orders; and
  • Exclude school children and staff from having contact with other school children or staff showing symptoms of a communicable disease.

This guidance includes two flowcharts – What to Do When There's a Positive COVID Case and How to Respond to a COVID-19 Outbreak – for quick access to managing cases. More specific detail on isolation, quarantining, and case investigation is available on the PDE website.

COVID-19 Case Counts for Children

DOH is now providing weekly updated case counts for two age groups: 0-4 capturing preschool and child care age children, and 5-18 capturing kindergarten through high school age children. Case counts are updated on Thursdays for the previous week and cumulative since August 16, 2021, by county of residence. Case data is available on the DOH website.

We know the beginning of the year has been difficult as we continue to pursue in-person instruction for our students while managing the aggressive Delta COVID-19 variant. We will continue to work with DOH to provide updates to health guidance and student-related health data.  Additionally, as indicated in my September 3 letter, we will provide an update by October 1 on the DOH mask order as we continue to evaluate community transmission rates, vaccination data, and other health-related indicators.

- Noe