As the first day of the 2021-22 school year quickly approaches Aug. 4, Henry County Schools are updating their COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

The district shared a COVID-19 playbook with the community Monday, which outlines protocols the district will take this school year to prevent the spread of the virus. These measures include optional face masks, hand sanitizing stations, deep cleaning, increased ventilation maintenance and short-term or long-term closure decisions being made with the advice of public health officials.

Employees and students are encouraged to monitor their health before going to school, according to the playbook. Weekly positive COVID-19 cases will be reported via a dashboard on the Henry County Schools website.

Anyone with symptoms of the virus should stay home and report their illness to their supervisor or school administrator, the playbook states. If a positive case is discovered, close contacts will be notified via phone. A general message will then be shared with the community.

The district has prepared five tiers of mitigation strategies based on the severity of conditions, according to the playbook. The school year will begin using level one strategies, which include increased sanitization and potential targeted closures should conditions warrant. Each level increases mitigation strategies — for example, level five requires masks indoors when physical distancing is not possible and modifies in-person learning, and/or provides a virtual learning option. Each level builds upon the previous strategies.

“Medical professionals have indicated that the best layer of protection and prevention for individuals 12+ is the COVID-19 vaccine,” the playbook states. “Vaccines are widely and readily available. For information to learn more about receiving the vaccine, contact your local medical provider or pharmacy.”

To learn more about Henry County Schools’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts, view the playbook here.

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