During the stress and anxiety of the Caldor Fire it was easy to forget that other little issue we’ve now been living with for 18 months – the COVID 19 pandemic. In the week before Tahoe evacuated over 150 positive cases were recorded at schools in Carson and the fire merely delayed an inevitable increase in cases amongst our children once they were back in their classrooms.
So what can we do to prevent an outbreak of a magnitude that will shut our schools again?
Vaccination is key. All children and adults over the age of 12 are eligible for the vaccination and recently the Pfizer vaccine was approved for use on children over 5 years of age. We do not know when that vaccination roll out will begin, but just as with measles, mumps, whooping cough and a host of other viruses, vaccination is a great way to limit the spread within schools and prevent weeks off for quarantine, sickness etc.
However until that time, and past it if you don’t want to be vaccinated, masks are a priority.
As the weather gets colder and more activities move inside we need to keep wearing our masks. Last year local cases of COVID started to rise around Halloween and got worse following Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is really hard to miss out on social events and it’s also difficult to eat while wearing a mask. So if you are gathering with friends and family for the holidays, ask about their vaccination status, see if you can gather outside, or talk about wearing masks when not eating. One day this pandemic will be behind us and it’s better to have a weird holiday than not have a member of your family at the next one.
Test regularly and especially when you feel sick.
Even vaccinated people are getting COVID. We have to think of the virus as a nasty burglar who is just determined to get inside and when he can’t get in through the front door, he changes tactics and tries a window. So it is wise to never assume we are safe. Keep wearing a mask even if vaccinated, and if you feel any symptoms of COVID get a test as soon as possible. Regular testing even if feeling fine is also advised to ensure you aren’t asymptomatic and spreading it. The Club requires a negative test for any member who goes on vacation before they can return to Club. This is because we have had instances of members contracting COVID while on vacation and that has taught us it is wise to take the extra precaution.
Keep your child home if they are sick.
This is perhaps the toughest as none of us wants to lose a day of work or have our child miss yet another day of school, but it is better to miss one or two days than to have the school or Club shut down for a period of time.
Keep playdates and activities outside as much as possible.
Tahoe kids are tough and they like being outside in all weathers. With the right clothing and fun activities you can let you kid run around outside, without a mask, and have a very small chance of contracting COVID. So visit that pumpkin patch, pick those apples, go to the beach (especially now the tourists aren’t there) and let you kid be a kid without risking their health.
We are immensely grateful to our Club families who have been following our regulations and guidance for well over a year now. You have enabled us to stay open, you have protected our staff and members and YOU will ensure that our kids stay in school and Club this fall and winter.