Updates to our PUSD COVID-19 Safety Protocols: Masking Requirements, Testing Information & Pre-registering your student for COVID testing at school

Dear PUSD Parents/Guardians,

Please review the recently updated PUSD 2021-22: COVID-19 FAQs document. We continue to adjust our practices based on current County and State guidance, as well as local health conditions. Thank you for your continued partnership to support the health and safety of our community.

Here are the significant changes we'd like to highlight:

  • Face Covering and Masking Requirements
Both COVID-19 community transmission level and the number of eligible individuals who are vaccinated influence PUSD’s masking requirements. Due to a recent downward trend in community transmission level and a high percentage of 12+ individuals who are fully vaccinated in Pleasanton, PUSD is modifying outdoor masking at the high schools and district office.
Indoor Masks Required: All staff, students, and visitors ages 2+, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear face coverings over both their nose and mouth when indoors on a PreK-12 school campus or at any PUSD property. Face coverings must be worn for indoor sports and on group transportation to/from school & school events.
Outdoor Masking Required at Elementary and Middle School Campuses: Face coverings are also required outdoors except when actively eating or drinking. This includes wearing masks during outdoor PE activities. There will be times during PE and athletic events when a student wishes to lower their mask briefly, and that is acceptable so long as the individual is physically distanced from others. Masks should be back in place as soon as possible and before moving closer to other people.
Outdoor Masking at High Schools and District Office: As of 9/29/21, face coverings are recommended for all individuals when outdoors, especially in crowded settings. Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering at all times when not actively eating or drinking.
Future Considerations: PUSD will re-evaluate outdoor masking at elementary and middle school campuses once students 11 years old and younger have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Currently, none of our elementary students are vaccinated and there are many students on our middle school campuses who are not yet eligible to be vaccinated. Wearing masks at all times decreases the likelihood that an infected person might expose someone else to respiratory droplets that contain the virus that causes COVID-19. In addition, wearing masks increases the chances that unvaccinated students will be eligible for modified quarantine when there is an exposure to someone with COVID-19 at school, rather than needing to observe a full quarantine.
Masking is still recommended for everyone indoors and outdoors regardless of vaccination status, and these requirements are subject to change as new guidance becomes available.

  • COVID-19 Symptom List: When to Stay Home 
As of 9/22/21, ACPHD expanded the list of symptoms that, if present, will require a student or staff member to stay home and isolate:
  • Fever (100°F/37.8°C or higher) and/or chills 
  • Runny nose or congestion                  
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath and/or difficulty breathing
  • Headache                              
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Unexplained muscle or body aches
Note: a student or staff member who has a clear explanation for fatigue, muscle aches, or body aches, such as after an intense athletic practice, should not report this as an unexplained symptom. However, if the fatigue or muscle aches are unusual for that individual, they should be considered warning signs and should be reported.

When a student or staff member has one or more symptom(s) of COVID-19, they must stay home from school/work and get a PCR or molecular test to rule out COVID-19, regardless of vaccination status.
Diagnostic testing: Students and staff members with symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider to request a PCR or molecular COVID-19 test. Alternatively, a PCR or molecular COVID test may be performed at a local testing facilityDo NOT use the pop-up testing sites at Stoneridge Mall for school-related testing --- we are often unable to accept tests from these locations.

PUSD Pandemic Services offers the following testing programs:
  1. Modified Quarantine Testing: For unvaccinated students who are exposed at school, PUSD will provide rapid antigen testing on campus to allow those students to be eligible for Modified Quarantine provided they test negative and do not develop any symptoms.
  2. Shortened Quarantine Testing: if either an unvaccinated student or the positive person was unmasked at the time of the school exposure, the close contact must quarantine at home. PUSD Pandemic Services offers testing off-campus by invitation only if a student may test out of the full quarantine per CDPH guidelines. This test takes place on Day 7 following exposure. If negative, the student may return to activities on Day 8 if they remain asymptomatic.
  3. Unvaccinated Staff Weekly Screening: Beginning the week of October 11, 2021, PUSD will be offering testing for unvaccinated staff Monday through Thursday after school hours so that those unvaccinated staff members may meet the requirements of the State of California's Public Health Order.Unvaccinated 
  4. Cleared Volunteer Weekly Screening: Unvaccinated individuals who wish to become a cleared volunteer in order to interact with students will need to be tested weekly. Beginning the week of October 11, 2021, PUSD will be offering testing for unvaccinated volunteers as part of the district’s volunteer clearance process to meet the requirements of the State of California's Public Health Order.
  5. Close Contact Vaccinated Staff Testing: Beginning the week of October 4, 2021, vaccinated staff who are exposed on campus may request testing at their school site after being notified that they were a close contact. Arrangements can be made by contacting the site Pandemic Tech or COVID-19 Liaison.
  6. Wind Musician Weekly Screening: To meet CDPH’s guidance for musicians who play wind instruments, PUSD provides weekly PCR testing during music classes at middle and high schools.
Note: individuals exposed off-campus may also be eligible for shortened quarantine, but PUSD does not provide this testing at this time.

Help Your Student Remain in School: Your Action Needed
  • PUSD would like ALL students to be pre-registered for COVID-19 testing at school. When a student is exposed to COVID-19 at school, they may qualify for Modified Quarantine. If so, they can be tested on campus and return to class immediately if they receive a negative result. At school test results are texted or emailed to parents within an hour of testing.
To make sure your students can be tested efficiently and remain at school, we are strongly encouraging all parents to register each student for a free account at Primary.HealthPrimary.Health is the web-based registration site for the COVID-19 testing program available to schools via the California Department of Public Health. To use at-school testing or other PUSD-provided testing, students must be registered at Primary.Health. This is a pre-registration process only. Students will be invited to test when needed. You only need to register once per student, no matter how many times they may need to test.