COVID Prevention Plan



Hastings Catholic Schools
COVID Prevention Plan
Revised beginning January 12, 2022

Masks are optional but not required in indoor areas in all schools.

Close Contact: Someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period and not wearing an appropriate face covering (for example,
three separate 5-minute exposures for a total of 15 minutes).

Fully vaccinated: In general, people are considered fully vaccinated: two (2) weeks after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or two (2) weeks after a single-dose of Johnson &
Johnsons Janssen vaccine.

NOTE: The Diocese of Lincoln and Hastings Catholic Schools do NOT require anyone to receive the COVID vaccination. We understand this is a personal, medical decision. Nor does the
diocese or school require anyone to disclose whether one has received a COVID vaccination. An honor system will be used regarding vaccination status.

School Exclusion
Normal exclusion policy criteria (fever, persistent cough, vomiting, diarrhea, etc.) should be used to determine if a student or staff should be excluded from school. In addition, if a student or staff presents with recent loss of taste or smell, they should be excluded and tested for COVID-19 (PCR test). If the student or staff chooses to not be tested using a PCR test, they should be managed as a positive case of COVID-19.

Excluded students or staff may be asked to test for COVID by the school or referred to a health care provider before returning to school. The student or staff person may be allowed to return to school when symptoms subside in accord with your normal exclusion policy.

Managing Close Contact Exposures Quarantine
Students and staff do not have to be excluded if they have had a close contact exposure but must wear a mask for 10 days while at school or participating in school activities and should, if possible, be tested (PCR test) on day 5 after the exposure.

Students and staff who have on-going high-risk exposure to a positive individual who is unable to isolate (i.e. household) should remain at home until the positive individual completes 5 days of
isolation. Extra vigilance on screening for symptoms when they return is advisable.

If symptoms develop (see below) they must be excluded and be tested using a PCR test.

If a student or staff cannot wear a mask, they must be excluded for 10 days.

Quarantine due to onset of symptoms
A student or staff member must be excluded from attendance and require a COVID-19 test at the onset of COVID-19 symptoms as outlined below.

  • Any ONE of
    Fever over 100 degrees Fahrenheit
    Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    New onset of dry cough
    Loss of taste or smell


  • OR any TWO of
    Chills longer than two hours
    Congestion and/or runny nose
    Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
    Sore throat
    Muscle pain


Managing Persons That Test Positive for COVID-19 - Isolation
If a student or staff tests positive for COVID-19, they need to stay home for 5 days from the date the sample was collected.

If they do not have symptoms or if symptoms are resolving (meet schools criteria for read mission see below) they can return to school on day 6. However, they must wear a mask through day 10
starting on the day the test sample was collected.

If a student or staff cannot wear a mask, they must be excluded and must isolate for 10 days.

Return to School from symptoms or positive test
A student or staff member who has been excluded from attendance due to COVID-19 symptoms or a
positive test for COVID-19 will be allowed to return within the following categories:

a) If the student or staff experienced symptoms and tested positive or was not tested, all three
conditions must be met:

(1) Fever free for at least 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medicine,
(2) Other symptoms have improved (such as cough or shortness of breath),
(3) Five calendar days of isolation have passed since symptoms first appeared.

The first day of symptoms shall be counted as day one.

b) A student or staff may return within the ten days and without a test if they are approved to return
in writing by a qualified medical practitioner who provides an alternative diagnosis accounting for
the symptoms. Return is not allowed under this condition if a person tests positive for COVID-19.

c) If the student or staff experienced symptoms and tested negative for COVID-19, both the following
conditions must be met:

(1) Fever free without the use of fever-reducing medicine,
(2) Other symptoms have improved (such as cough or shortness of breath).

Classroom Transmission
If transmission is strongly suspected in a classroom (3 or more confirmed cases) within an incubation period (10 days), the following actions are recommended:

Exclude all persons that test positive and follow isolation guidance above.

Require masking for all students and staff that potentially had close contact for at least 10 days.

Monitor for additional cases and contact your local health department if more cases are identified.

Close-contact exposures that happen out of school and not within the immediate household will be the responsibility of the parents/family to handle. Feel free to call the health department or the
principal with questions or guidance if this occurs.


Changing Circumstances
As COVID tides change for better or worse, these plans may also change. Further, the confluence of the normal cold and flu season with the rapidly increasing number of COVID-19 cases (especially the Omicron variant) will likely provide some difficult challenges for schools. Hastings Catholic Schools will rely on the guidance and direction of the medical and public health officials at the South Heartland District Heath Department in decision-making relative to COVID/cold/flu.


Click here for the printable version


Additional Resources:

South Heartland District Health District