The safety and health of the Grace Christian Academy (GCA) scholars, teachers, staff, and families are of utmost importance. Accordingly, GCA will adhere to the following health and safety procedures as school begins on August 24. These procedures may be adjusted, as necessary, as the school year progresses.
Each scholar must attend in-person classes every day that GCA is in session for in-person classes, assuming the scholar is in good health. GCA will not provide distance learning while in-person classes are meeting. If a scholar misses in-person school for any reason, that scholar will be provided his/her assignments and will be expected to complete those assignments in accordance with the requirements outlined in the GCA Handbook.
Virginia Department of Health COVID Quarantine and Isolation Guidance
The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) provides the following guidance for children, teachers, and staff in childcare and K-12 schools. This revised guidance outlines that quarantine is no longer routinely recommended for asymptomatic individuals after exposure to COVID infected individuals. In general masks are not routinely recommended in these settings, indoors or outdoors, except during isolation as specified below. Any individual who wishes to continue to mask, including those who face higher risk from COVID, may do so as an option. Masking is never recommended in these settings while the individual is eating, drinking, sleeping, or for children under the age of 2.
Isolation and Quarantine Guidance
- Symptomatic persons (regardless of vaccination status) should begin isolation at home and undergo testing as recommended by their healthcare providers. The day symptoms began should be counted as day 0.
- Persons who test positive (regardless of vaccination status) should isolate themselves at home for at least 5 days. If they are asymptomatic or symptoms are resolving and they have been fever-free for 24 hours, they may return to programming after Day 5, provided:
- If the individual is able to mask, they should do so through Day 10.
- If the individual is unable or unwilling to mask during this time (including children under age 2), VDH recommends a negative test on or after Day 6 in order to return to programming OR the person should remain home through day 10.
- If a scholar becomes sick at school, the scholar’s parent or guardian will be contacted to pick up the scholar as soon as possible, while the scholar waits in a separate isolation room/area.
- For exposed but asymptomatic persons (regardless of vaccination status), quarantine is no longer recommended for the above settings. These individuals may continue to attend programming as long as they remain asymptomatic.
- Exposure is defined as being within 6 feet of a person who has COVID for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period, or having direct contact with respiratory secretions from an infected person.
- Masks: Scholars/staff that attend programming during this time may consider wearing a mask around others indoors until Day 10. If a scholar or staff person in this group has ongoing household exposure to a person with COVID, VDH recommends scholars, families and staff consider more frequent testing.
- If GCA experiences an outbreak of COVID that has been difficult to control or is unusual in size or scope, regional and local epidemiologists may apply professional judgment and recommend traditional quarantine and isolation standards be applied until the situation is stabilized.
While children are typically at lower risk than adults of becoming severely ill or hospitalized from COVID-19, the effects of the virus are unpredictable. If infected with COVID-19, children can potentially become very ill, have short- and long-term health conditions, and spread COVID-19 to loved ones, and others at school and in the community.
Getting eligible children vaccinated can help prevent them from getting really sick even if they do get infected and help prevent serious short- and long-term complications of COVID-19. Vaccinating children can also give parents greater confidence in their children participating in school, and other activities.
Vaccinations are free and readily available for all children over 6 months of age. Information can be obtained at your pediatrician’s office, local pharmacy, or through the Fairfax County Health Department.