Important: Travel COVID-19 Safety

Important: Travel COVID-19 Safety
Posted on 02/11/2021

Be Safe During February Break Travel Tips

Dear CPS Community,

Thank you to those who have shown diligence and care for our community when it comes to health and safety. Working and going to school during a pandemic makes challenging work even harder, and you all have surely earned a restful vacation! In that context, we want to make you aware of Public Health and CPS travel protocols that must be followed.

It is important to remember that in CPS and nationwide, most cases of COVID in schools have resulted from actions people take outside of the school. Very often, when people become infected with COVID, they recall having relaxed their safety measures. It is imperative that we continue to follow all of the safety guidelines whether you are at home or on vacation.

Travel increases your risk of COVID

If you travel out of state but within the U.S., you must

  • Quarantine for 10 days or
  • provide the school nurse with proof of a negative COVID-19 test, administered up to 72-hours prior to your return to Massachusetts. If not obtained before entry to Massachusetts, a test and result may be obtained after arrival. (Children age 10 and under do not need to be separately tested if the parent/caregiver has a negative test).
  • Unless you quarantine for 10 days, you will be required to provide proof of a negative test. If you do not have this documentation, you will be instructed to leave the building as a precautionary measure.

If you travel outside of the country, there are steps you must take before and after you travel. According to CDC guidelines:

  • Get tested with a PCR test 1-3 days before your trip and again no more than 3 days before your return flight to the United States departs. Make sure you get your test results before you travel. If you are waiting for results, delay your travel.
  • Do not travel if your test result is positive; immediately isolate yourself, and follow public health recommendations.
  • A negative test does not mean that you were not exposed or that you will not develop COVID-19. Make sure to wear a mask, avoid crowds, stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arm lengths) from others, wash your hands, and watch your health for signs of illness while traveling.
  • Keep a copy of your test results with you during travel. You may be asked for them.

After your return from international travel

  • Get tested with a PCR test 3-5 days after travel AND stay home and self-quarantine for a full 7 days after travel.
  • Even if you test negative, stay home and self-quarantine for the full 7 days.
  • If your test is positive, isolate yourself to protect others from getting infected.
  • If you don’t get tested, stay home and self-quarantine for 10 days after travel.
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.

Whether you are traveling or staying home, please consider these recommendations from safety experts:

  • Avoid indoor gatherings with people outside of your immediate household. Even if you’re allowed to have up to 10 people into your home, that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
  • Wear a mask any time you leave your home. Be sure it fits well. The CDC now recommends a cloth mask over a medical mask as a way to achieve a good fit.
  • Meal time is the most dangerous time because mouths are open and masks are off. If you are eating with people outside of your home you should ideally be outdoors and 6 feet apart. Being closer or indoors increases your risk.

As the vaccine continues to roll out, there are many reasons to feel hopeful for the future. Until then, your choices can help protect yourself and the CPS community.

Enjoy your February break, and thank you again for taking care of yourselves and one another.

Sincerely,

Kenneth N. Salim, Ed.D.
Superintendent of Schools

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