SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3 title=
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3
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Source: Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD)

As the highly contagious omicron and delta variants sweep through our community resulting in a dramatic spike in cases, Santa Barbara Unified is encouraging staff and families to do all they can to be safe while renewing our commitment to continue in-person learning. 

First, vaccinations.  All eligible students, age 5 and over, are advised to get their vaccinations to Students 16 and older should also get their booster if they haven't already. The data shows that vaccines remain the strongest tool we have to prevent the spread.

Vaccinations appointments are widely available at local pharmacies and clinics. A free vaccination clinic will be hosted by the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department at McKinley Elementary on January 8, 2022, Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. This will include all vaccination and booster shots for everyone ages 5 and older.

Second, testing.  The district requests that each student and staff person takes advantage of COVID testing before returning to campus. Staff and students were given test kits to take home before the winter break, which includes two tests per box. The district will also resume surveillance testing of both vaccinated and unvaccinated staff and students. There is also an option available to take the Aptitude PCR COVID test at Earl Warren Showgrounds (3400 Calle Real).  To be tested, go to Gate B and be tested on Friday (Dec. 31) from 9 am to 4:45 pm or Sunday (Jan. 2) from 9 am to 2 pm.  Testing is free for both students and employees, so have your Santa Barbara Unified student or staff identification number available and ready.  Student and staff testing is provided on a walk-in basis only, (Do not make an appointment.)

Third, masks. Given how contagious these variants are, it is as important as ever to use well-fitting masks, ideally N95, KN95 or KN94.  The district has made N95 masks available for staff and blue surgical masks for elementary students.

Superintendent Hilda Maldonado stated, “We remain committed to in person school and to do so will continue to maintain safety protocols in place including, testing, quarantine and supporting vaccines for those eligible. We ask everyone to support us by doing their part, please check yourself, your students and loved ones for symptoms and if in doubt test for COVID and stay home.” 

The upswell in cases throughout Santa Barbara County is expected to rise even further in the coming days and weeks, following holiday travel and gatherings.  Santa Barbara Unified remains committed to in-person learning and utilizing all we have learned throughout this pandemic regarding the tools that work. Recently, Governor Newsom along with many education advocates including the California Teachers Association (CTA) & the California School Employees Association (CSEA) and the California Parent Teacher Association “reaffirming a commitment to keep each other safe and in school.”

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dukemunson Jan 05, 2022 04:32 PM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

Downvoting logic and reason? We obviously can't vaccinate/boost the world every 2-3 months...that is a completely obvious comment. Oxford obviously agrees...

ChillinGrillin Jan 04, 2022 11:45 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

I got Covid 3 weeks ago and am fully vaxxed. It was like having a serious cold for a week. But you wanna know the crucial difference? I wasn't coughing, no fever, no painful breathing or staying in bed. My unvaxxed cousin had a nasty cough and was bedridden for two weeks. He barely wears a mask to the market let alone at home, and his whole immediate family got it. Mine were all fine. The vaccine and masks work and symptoms spread it. I love the man and have no schadenfreude, which is what the antivaxxers don't get: At some level despite all the frustration of Covid rules we still care about them and don't want them to get seriously ill or die. Then they lash out at the same public health measures keeping them safe. No more reasonable doubts are left, get the vaccine. If you put on your big boy pants for the scary needle the doctor might even give you a lollipop.

fitz Jan 04, 2022 07:05 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

9:19: I guess there were approx. 1000 people in line at Earl Warren on Sunday for the 'not mandated' testing for entrance into schools on Monday. Our family showed up early, saw the line, and went home. Shortly after, the e-mail came from the school that the test was 'suggested, not mandated'. Lots of frustrated parents out there. My grandchild has been tested 16 times so far this school year. Vaxxed, always masked. I hope by February those who are vaxxed can learn to live with this milder form of covid. Those who are not vaxxed/won't wear masks should be treated as the pariahs they are. No admission anywhere that normal people congregate indoors, including schools/sports/stores/hospitals. Let them wave their signs but keep them out of the public sphere.

Chip of SB Jan 04, 2022 12:43 PM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

Sac, do you really still believe outbreaks would be minimized if we were 90% vaxxed? Herd immunity was one of the promises they made when the vaccines were initially introduced, but the “science” has changed considerably since then. The bbc has reported that 16 of 25 fully vaccinated workers at a Belgian Antarctic research station have been infected in a covid outbreak. As aisolation goes, I think being in Antarctica is about as good as it gets. How did covid spread amongst this fully vaccinated group of people so far removed from the nearest unvaccinated person?

dukemunson Jan 04, 2022 11:40 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

SAC - The problem is the panicking people on either side. We're not getting past Omicron with the vaccine...we're getting past it when the forever maskers take a breath and reconnect with reality.

a-1641314674 Jan 04, 2022 08:44 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

That's not where the problem ends, though. These unvaccinated folks are well on their way to filling up our hospitals and creating a dangerous situation for the vaccinated and unvaccinated alike. And, more spread among the unvaccinated (and to a lesser extent, the vaccinated) gives the virus that much more opportunity to mutate into a nastier variant that skirts vaccines. Stay vigilant and persuasive with your unvaccinated friends, it's never too late to change their minds.

Chip of SB Jan 04, 2022 02:08 PM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

Sac, if you’re right, and I believe you are, then booster shots should be outlawed immediately and all booster vaccine doses diverted to regions like Africa with large unvaccinated populations with the upmost urgency. Here is a piece from NPR articulating the case against boosters.

sacjon Jan 04, 2022 01:46 PM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

CHIP - "The billions of unvaccinated people overseas have no relevance to the spread of covid and the emergence of new mutations." - how is that true? I think it's not. Of course they do.

Chip of SB Jan 04, 2022 11:10 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

Vaccines would be completely effective, but only under very specific conditions. Vaccines can only be effective if every American citizen who is unvaccinated is forced to get vaccinated. The billions of unvaccinated people overseas have no relevance to the spread of covid and the emergence of new mutations. However, as long as one eligible American remains unvaccinated covid will continue to spread. Outbreak on a cruise liner occupied by 100% vaccinated people - those vaccine deniers and holdouts are responsible. Simple as that. I’m not sure what the “science” is to support this, but it seems to be a pervasive belief in our community.

Transparent Jan 02, 2022 10:52 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

We need to continue to do whatever is possible to keep kids in school in person. The nation-wide distance learning experiment proved disastrous for kids on many levels (health, educational, social) despite the best efforts of our dedicated educators.

This will be hard as we will see a spike in the next few days (due to the extensive testing)... but we need to be committed to doing so even when we see Covid surges in the days / months / years ahead.

letmego Jan 04, 2022 10:02 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

@9:19, you obviously don't spend much time on FB parenting groups. There is a mind-boggling number of parents who both refuse to vaccinate their children and also refuse to allow them to be tested. They adamantly insist that their children will be harmed by this testing.

a-1641230362 Jan 03, 2022 09:19 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

And yet, no required vaccines or testing for kids. A lot of people, pointedly our local schools admins, parrot this same narrative of "in person no matter what! We'll do whatever it takes!" but when it comes to doing 'whatever it takes' they go for recommended testing and recommended vaccines. Not requiring vaccines for school age kids, fine, I sort of get it. Not requiring testing, which is available free to any SBUSD student or staff at Earl Warren, when returning from visiting who knows how many people over break with a highly contagious variant? Foolish.

Luvaduck Jan 02, 2022 10:34 AM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

Until people wear them over their noses and not loose enough to breath around and continue to wear gaiters and Billy the Kid bandanas, the intended protection isn't there, but only allow spreaders to conform with the letter of the law but not the intent: to protect us all.

a-1641162629 Jan 02, 2022 02:30 PM
SBUSD Outlines Steps for School Return on Jan. 3

2 PM - I realize this is a bit of a subtle difference for someone like you, but it's a matter of degree. For spreading FUD, I guess that doesn't matter.

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