kids during sept surge

A sparsely attending Mammoth class during the first surge of Covid in the schools in September. The more recent surge of the Omicron variant had classes sometimes running at 50 percent attendance, with many key staff also out. In-person classes will return after a two-week break, beginning on Jan. 24, Monday.

One week earlier than scheduled

Dr. Caryn K. Slack, Mono County Local Health Officer, issued an Order rescinding the previous Mammoth Unified School District schools closure Order following a reduction in Covid-19 cases throughout Mono County, and based on the foundational principle that all students must have access to safe in-person instruction. 

The fact the order has been rescinded allows students to return on Jan. 24, Monday, a week earlier than the previous order had scheduled for a return to in-person learning.

According to the Mono County Emergency Operations Center in a news release this morning, Jan. 21, “The two-week temporary closure has allowed for a sufficient number of MUSD faculty to recover from their illness and complete their required state isolation requirements, thereby allowing for the return of students on campus for full in-person instruction.

“Effective Monday, Jan. 24, MUSD’s Mammoth High School, Mammoth Middle School, Mammoth Elementary School, Sierra High School, Husky Club, and Mono County Office of Education’s Inclusive Preschool on the campus of Mammoth Elementary School will reopen for in-person instruction,” Dr. Slack said.

The news does not mean Covid-19 transmission in the schools is unlikely or that there will not be more – possibly a lot more – positive Covid cases in the schools.

According to MUSD in a letter to parents sent out Thursday (after the district’s board of trustees met with the public health department and then agreed to return to in-person teaching and learning next week), “The Omicron variant of Covid is still highly transmissible, and community case rates are still high. You may assume your child will be exposed to Covid every day that they are at school. You should monitor for symptoms, test regularly and be prepared for your child to potentially get Covid in the next few weeks.”

The district then went on to lay out the complex process they will be suing for quarantine and testing in the letter to parents and staff.

HOW TO GET TESTED IN MONO COUNTY

Both the state's contractor OptumServe and Mono County Public Health provide Covid-19 testing clinics in Mono County most days of the week (pending weather-related issues).  

• Testing dates and locations in Mammoth: OptumServe offers testing Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. in Mammoth Lakes. Go to https://coronavirus.monocounty.ca.gov/pages/health

• Testing clinics in the unincorporated areas of Mono County: Mono County Public Health offers testing in other locations throughout the county at various times throughout the week.  While both OptumServe and Mono County Public Health accept walk-ins at their Covid-19 testing clinics, pre-registration is strongly encouraged as walk-ins will only be accommodated pending resource availability.  Mono County Public Health will be adding pop-up testing clinics as additional resources become available.  

• The Covid-19 testing schedule for January can be accessed here, or at https://coronavirus.monocounty.ca.gov/pages/health

• The county’s main Covid-19 portal page with data on cases, vaccine rates, testing options, and much more can be found here: https://monocovid19-monomammoth

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