State adds booster requirement as Vernon schools roll out new Covid guidelines

Vernon /
| 03 Feb 2022 | 01:18

The Vernon Township School District on Jan. 24 rolled out new protocols for students who test positive for Covid-19 or is a close contact of someone who has tested positive. The guidance comes from the New Jersey Department of Health, as follows:

● Children ages 12-17 are no longer considered fully vaccinated unless they receive the booster shot. Eligibility begins five months after receiving the second shot of the Pfizer vaccine.

● Students who are not fully vaccinated will be required to quarantine for 5 days if they are a close contact if sick students are able to fully isolate at home. Unvaccinated asymptomatic siblings must also adhere to the five-day quarantine.

● Children must be fever free before returning to school and need a doctor’s note to return to school if they have received a non-Covid diagnosis. They need to be fever free for 24 hours with a doctor’s note before returning to school.

● If students are well enough to return to school on day 6, they must continue to wear a mask on days 6-10.

● Students who have received the booster may remain in school without being quarantined.

School district parent Kelly Hague called the new guidance discrimination against the unvaccinated.

Glen Meadow seventh-grader Matthew Sontano explained to the school board the difficulty of quarantining. On Jan. 27, after he was quarantined for 10 days, he returned to school for two days — only to be sent home for five more days because of a close contact. He said those two weeks were extremely stressful. He worried about computer crashes and falling behind on his schoolwork. He said it was very difficult to get all his schoolwork done, even with his teacher’s help.

“I try to be positive and find the good in every situation, but being away from school, my friends and teachers was very hard,” Matthew said. “I am sure I speak for many other students when I say this is affecting us in so many negative ways.”