Talmud Torah of Minneapolis

COVID-19 Preparedness Plan and Policy 2021-22

Updated January 25, 2021

OVERVIEW

Talmud Torah’s COVID-19 plan follows guidelines set by the CDC’s COVID-19 Guidance for Schools and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and is informed by Hennepin County case rates. Talmud Torah’s COVID Advisory Committee meets regularly to discuss and recommend changes to the school’s current protocols. 

 

We have come to these guidelines through research, consultation with medical professionals, dialogue with our partner synagogues, Beth El and Adath, and benchmarking against several Twin Cities schools. We will continue to evaluate the COVID landscape and consider whether protocol changes are warranted. Any changes will be communicated to the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis community via email and our website will be updated accordingly.

 

MASKING

  • Talmud Torah will require universal masking for all adults and students, regardless of vaccination status, while indoors at the JCC. Masks must cover the nose and mouth and comply with CDC recommendations (i.e., no single layered gaiters).

  • Visitors to the JCC Education Wing during Talmud Torah will also be required to wear masks.  

  • Masks will not be required outdoors or while eating and drinking. Snack time will take place outdoors when the weather allows and will be encouraged to be less than 15 minutes when indoors.

VACCINATION

  • Consistent with Jewish law that we take care of our community, and policies in place at both Beth El and Adath, Talmud Torah strongly recommends that all eligible faculty, staff and students be vaccinated against COVID-19, including the booster shot if eligible. 

    • Once fully vaccinated, students’ proof of vaccination cards may be emailed to COVIDTests@talmudtorahmpls.org or may be shown to one of the adult staff members at drop-off and the student’s name will be placed on file as vaccinated.

  • If any student or teacher is not vaccinated, weekly negative PCR tests will be required to be submitted to Talmud Torah.

    • Negative test results (taken within 72 hours) need to be submitted once a week on either the day before or day of the first class of the week (beginning on Sundays), at least 2 hours before class time.

    • Test results should be provided by emailing COVIDTests@talmudtorahmpls.org per the timing above.

 

HAND HYGIENE AND SOCIAL DISTANCING

  • Everyone entering the JCC Education Wing during Talmud Torah will be asked to wash their hands frequently and use hand sanitizer regularly.

  • Utilize hand sanitizing stations, located at all entrances and throughout the school, upon coming and going.

  • Where possible, classroom desks will be arranged to provide CDC recommended distance between students. 

  • All Talmud Torah community activities will continue to take place following CDC-recommended safety guidelines. 

  • The facility's mechanical system has had upgrades in response to the pandemic.

 

COVID-19 TESTING

  • Regular testing for COVID-19 has proven to be an effective way to keep schools open.  We strongly encourage weekly PCR testing. Free in-home testing kits can be obtained using this link.

  • For those not vaccinated, a negative PCR test must be submitted on a weekly basis per above information.

RESPONDING TO COVID + CASES

  • Employees and families must promptly report COVID-positive cases to contactus@talmudtorahmpls.org.

  • Talmud Torah will generally be following MDH and CDC quarantine and post-exposure testing recommendations, but we may request a more stringent quarantine period if the circumstances warrant. However, it is our intention to keep as much in-person learning as possible while keeping the health of our community at the forefront.

  • We encourage families to consult the MDH decision tree if a household member is experiencing COVID-related symptoms.

  • In the event of a COVID-positive case, Talmud Torah will notify families so that they may monitor for symptoms. 

  • If it is determined a student or staff member has been in close contact to a COVID+ person and they are fully vaccinated, no quarantine is required per current MDH recommendations. However the exposed should get tested 5-7 days after the exposure, should continue monitoring for symptoms, and should continue wearing masks.

  • If the exposed student or staff member who was exposed is not vaccinated, quarantine is required for at least 7 days and until a negative PCR test at 5-7 days from exposure per current MDH requirements. Possible accommodations to continue remote learning MAY be available.

PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY

  • Children, faculty, staff and visitors should not enter the facility if they are experiencing any of the following COVID-19 symptoms:

    • Fever or chills

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

    • Congestion or runny nose

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

  • Family and students should follow all CDC guidelines regarding testing and quarantining if there has been a known or possible exposure to COVID-19.

  • Families and staff travelling domestically or internationally should follow CDC recommendations regarding their destination and self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 upon their return.

TRAVEL POLICY

  • All participants, including but not limited to students, staff, and chaperones, are required to show proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of the trip’s Departure from the MSP Airport.

    • All participants must email or bring a copy of the test results with them to be allowed on the plane.

  • All participants must be fully vaccinated for Covid-19, regardless of prior Covid-19 infection. 

  • Participants must always wear masks while indoors, except for while sleeping, inside the participant’s personal room, and eating, regardless of the venue’s policy.

  • KN95 or N95 masks are required. Staff will have extras on hand if needed. 

  • Participants must always wear masks while outdoors when 3 ft physical distancing is not possible. Masks are not required while outdoors when physical distancing of 3 ft is possible.

  • If any participant on the trip develops any symptoms of Covid-19, they must report it to staff immediately. Symptoms include but are not limited to:

    • Fever or chills

    • Cough

    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

    • Fatigue

    • Muscle or body aches

    • Headache

    • New loss of taste or smell

    • Sore throat

    • Congestion or runny nose

    • Nausea or vomiting

    • Diarrhea

  • If a participant develops Covid-19 symptoms while on the trip, they will be isolated, tested (staff will supply a rapid antigen test), and cared for in a safe, dedicated space. If the result is positive, the participant must isolate under current CDC guidelines. If negative, staff will use discretion on whether to continue to isolate the individual or allow them to rejoin activities. We recommend taking another test in 1-2 days.

    • If the participant is a minor and CDC guidelines require isolation at the time of trip participant’s return flight to MSP, a parent or guardian of that minor must travel to the minor’s location. The parent or guardian must arrive at the minor’s location prior to the time of the minor’s return flight. Upon arrival of the minor’s parent or guardian, they must supervise the child for the duration of isolation. 

    • The minor’s parents or guardians will be responsible for any expenses associated with Covid-19 symptoms or diagnosis precluding the minor from returning to MSP with the other trip participants. Such expenses include, but are not limited to, travel/airline, hotel/lodging, food, and medical expenses incurred by the minor and/or parent/guardian. 

Talmud Torah of Minneapolis reserves the right to make updates to this policy as conditions warrant.

We recognize that no single plan or protocol is perfect or can guarantee safety for all. We ask you to remember that, when it comes to providing our students and staff with a safe environment for Jewish learning, we are all in this together.